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Saville Inquiry

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 February 2000, Official Report, column 648W, if he will list the private companies identified as purchasers of 10 rifles required by the Saville inquiry; and what efforts have been made to secure the co-operation of these companies with the inquiry. [154132]

Mr. Hoon: The police investigation announced in my answer of 17 February 2000, Official Report, column 648W, has established that, of the rifles required by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, 19 were sold to private companies. These companies were Alvis Logistics, A. F. Budge and Co. Ltd. and R. E. Trem and Co. Ltd. Every effort has been made to secure the companies' co-operation in consultation with the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 February 2000, Official Report, column 648W, what the conclusion was of the MOD police inquiry regarding destruction of evidence pertinent to the Saville inquiry; and what actions have been taken against those responsible. [154131]

Mr. Hoon: The report of the investigation by West Mercia and Ministry of Defence Police into the unauthorised destruction of rifles will be sent to Ministers shortly. When the report has been considered its conclusions and any proposed follow-up action will be made public where it is appropriate to do so. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been kept fully informed.

Nuclear Weapon Accident Response Exercises

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names, dates and locations of nuclear weapons convoy exercises in 2001. [153727]

Mr. Spellar: The following nuclear weapon accident response exercises are scheduled to be held during 2001:

MonthNameLocation
MayNW Convoy Group StandardisationLincolnshire
JuneExercise BowlineCoulport
JulyRAF Station NAR team Standardisation(8)Wiltshire
SeptemberMOD Police Nuclear Weapon Convoy StandardisationTo be confirmed
OctoberRAF Station NAR team Standardisation(8)Suffolk
NovemberRAF Station NAR team Standardisation(8)Oxfordshire
NovemberExercise SenatorBedfordshire

(8) RAF Station Nuclear Accident Response (NAR) teams provide immediate response forces for the air transportation of nuclear weapons


Low Flying (Wind Farms)

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made on the likely effects of siting wind turbines in tactical training areas. [155605]

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Dr. Moonie: In principle the Ministry of Defence has no objection to wind farms. The UK has three specially designated Tactical Training Areas (TTA) that are available for authorised military Operational Low Flying (OLF) training. The three TTAs are located in central Wales (LFA7T), north Scotland (LFA14T) and the border region of northern England/southern Scotland (LFA20T). Within these areas military fast jet and Hercules aircraft may operate at heights between 250 ft and 100 ft. In addition, Units make use of these specifically surveyed areas to conduct specialised night training.

Flying down to 100 ft is also authorised over the Electronic Warfare Tactics Range (EWTR), LFA13. The EWTR is a RAF facility made available to other NATO countries on a repayment basis, or under other special arrangements. It is located in the north of England, at Spadeadam, and partially overlays LFA20T, the northern England/southern Scotland TTA. In addition to tactical radar avoidance training, the airspace associated with use of the EWTR is made available for test and evaluation flying, specialised night training and some operational low flying training. Low flying within LFA13 is associated almost entirely with operation of the EWTR.

Conclusions of a study conducted by the RAF Signals Engineering Establishment into the Effects of Wind Generators on Radar Performance were that wind turbines cause interference to primary surveillance radar and harm the ability to detect and track aircraft flying over wind farms. Moreover, the presence of unlit constructions of significant size would be highly dangerous to aircraft flying down to 100 ft.

In the interests of flight safety, the safety of aircrew and members of the public, it is vital that any hazards to low flying aircraft are minimised. Any extraneous distractions or possible reduction in external support capabilities, such as that provided by ground radar, can have a deleterious effect upon aircraft safety, and thus the safety of aircrew as well as those on the ground.

It is, therefore, MOD opinion that obstacles in excess of 100 ft in height, unlit by night and with the ability to cause interference to radar, have the potential to create an acute safety hazard to aircraft engaged in operational low flying training, tactical radar avoidance training, specialised night flying and test and evaluation flying, however, each case has to be considered on its merit.

Promotional Campaigns

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the television, newspaper and radio advertising and other promotional campaigns conducted by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its departmental public bodies, in each of the past five years, showing for each the expenditure incurred by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [153408]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 12 March 2001]: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. I am therefore unable to provide a substantive answer in accordance with Exemption 9 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

However, a breakdown of the Ministry of Defence's public relations' expenditure is published in the annual Departmental Performance Report, broken down into

22 Mar 2001 : Column: 298W

categories of RN, Army, RAF and civilian recruitment, public relations, marketing and business support services, Chief of public relations, sales promotion, scholarships and National Employers' Liaison Committee.

Service Personnel (Compensation)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what negotiations are taking place between his Department and the Treasury over compensation payments for service personnel killed and disabled during service with the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [154046]

Mr. Spellar: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 21 March 2001, Official Report, column 209W. The proposals contained in the Joint Compensation Review Consultation Document have been fully discussed with Her Majesty's Treasury.

MOD Police

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the statutory basis of the Ministry of Defence Police (Discipline) Regulations 1985 is; and if they mirror those of the Home Department forces. [154409]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 19 March 2001]: The Ministry of Defence Police (Discipline) Regulations 1985, came into operation on 20 February 1986 following an agreement between the Defence Council and the Police Complaints Authority of the same date. Following the coming into force of the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 a further agreement between the Secretary of State for Defence and the Police Complaints Authority was signed on 23 June 1988, which resulted in the Ministry of Defence Police (Discipline) (Amendment) Regulations 1988. These agreements, made in accordance with section 96(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, introduced force discipline regulations corresponding to those established by Part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 for Home Department police forces. They also build on the provisions of section 1(4) and section 4 of the MOD Police Act 1987, and the Ministry of Defence Police (Representation at Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations 1988 (SI 1099/1988) made under it.

The MDP discipline regulations mirrored those of the Home Departments forces until the Home Department forces regulations changed in April 1999. The proposals in clause 32 of the present Armed Forces Bill are designed to enable parity to be restored.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department's police officers subject to (a) complaints and (b) disciplinary procedures are investigated under (i) procedures made by statute and (ii) with punishments and appeals procedures set out in legislation. [154407]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 19 March 2001]: The Ministry of Defence Police complaints and discipline regulations were introduced following an agreement between the Defence Council and the Police Complaints Authority on 20 February 1986. Following the introduction of the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, a further agreement between the Secretary of State for Defence and the Police Complaints Authority was signed on 23 June 1988. These agreements, made in accordance with section 96(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984,

22 Mar 2001 : Column: 299W

introduced complaints and discipline regulations corresponding to those established by or by virtue of Part IX of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 for Home Department police forces. They also build on the provisions of section 1(4) and section 4 of the MOD Police Act 1987 and the Ministry of Defence Police (Representation at Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulation 1988 (SI 1099/1988) made under it.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what grounds the Armed Forces Bill Committee was told on 7 March that a complaint against a Ministry of Defence police officer would be processed by the Police Complaints Authority through exactly the same complaints procedure as with the Metropolitan police and that the arrangements would be absolutely identical. [154406]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 19 March 2001]: The Ministry of Defence Police complaints regulations are comparable to those of the Home Department police forces. A complaint against an MOD police officer in England and Wales for instance would be dealt with in exactly the same way as a complaint against a member of the Metropolitan Police Service or any other Home Office police force.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what grounds he stated to the Armed Forces Bill Committee on 7 March that in the case of a complaint against his Department's police an MDP officer (a) would be subject to the responsibility of the chief constable of the area in question with whom he had made an agreement and (b) that police officer would be subject and accountable in precisely the same way as a police officer in the Metropolitan area. [154410]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 19 March 2001]: Under the proposed modest extensions to the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) jurisdiction contained within the Armed Forces Bill, MDP officers seconded to or providing mutual aid to Home Department police forces would be subject to the control and direction of the chief officer of the receiving force. Complaints against MDP officers on secondment or providing mutual aid to Home Department police forces would be dealt with in exactly the same way as a complaint against a member of the Metropolitan Police Service or any other Home Department police force.


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