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Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list units in the armed forces on standby, as a result of a request from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to deal with foot and mouth. 
Mr. Spellar: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aberavon (Sir J. Morris) on 23 March 2001, Official Report, columns 365-66W. In addition, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Joint Headquarters have been established at MAFF HQ in London and at MAFF regional offices. The role of these Headquarters is to co-ordinate logistic and other support to MAFF, drawn from appropriate civil and military resources. The Ministry of Defence is playing an
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important role in these Headquarters. Teams of armed forces personnel are also helping to co-ordinate the administration of slaughter, and the transport and disposal of carcases in affected areas. Other forces are on standby in case gaps are revealed. The armed forces contribution to the operation is being directed by Land Command under Commander in Chief Land.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel, from which units, are assisting the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with the foot and mouth outbreak; where they are deployed and in what numbers; and if he will make a statement on their role. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 23 March 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aberavon (Sir J. Morris) on 23 March 2001, Official Report, columns 365-66W.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the meetings and conferences organised by his Department and agencies of his Department which have been (a) cancelled and (b) postponed owing to foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries from which his Department has bought meat in the past year; and which of them have recently experienced endemic foot and mouth disease in their national herd. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 23 March 2001]: In the past year my Department has bought meat from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Uruguay as well as the United Kingdom. Of these only Brazil has recently experienced endemic foot and mouth disease. All meat imported into the UK for human consumption, however, must comply with Community import rules. These permit the importation of meat from some countries where foot and mouth is present but only where the veterinary authorities have contained the disease in specific regions. EC rules permit imports only from those regions where there is considered not to be a risk to human or animal health. These controls currently apply to Brazil and Uruguay.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Somme barracks restaurant (building 35) at Episkopi on Cyprus was closed; for what reason; what alternative feeding arrangements were made; and when the restaurant will reopen. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 20 March 2001]: The Somme (SIC) barracks restaurant (building 35) at Episkopi is in fact situated in Salamanca barracks within Episkopi Garrison. It is one of two Garrison canteens. The decision to close the restaurant was taken in March 1997 and closure effected in February 1998.
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While building 35 was closed for refurbishment, as an interim measure, all feeding arrangements were carried out in the remaining Garrison canteen (building 13). There was no reduction in the total canteen meals required or received and it was planned that when the refurbishment was complete all troops would then move back to building 35 for feeding and building 13 would be demolished.
(3) what recent discussions there have been between representatives of the United Kingdom and US Governments about the use of sites in Britain as part of the United States proposed National Missile Defence System; 
(4) if the US Administration requested the use of sites in Britain as part of its proposed National Missile Defence System. 
Mr. Hoon: We continue to discuss all aspects of missile defence regularly with the US and others, but we have received no request for the use of sites in the UK as part of a proposed system. Nor have any alterations been undertaken, or currently planned, at sites in the UK for missile defence purposes. The new US administration have not put forward specific proposals on what form any missile defence system might take, so it remains too early to say definitively whether or not alterations at sites in the UK will be proposed as part of such a system.
In the early 1990s, the "golf balls" at RAF Fylingdales were replaced with a new phased array radar because they had become obsolete and difficult to maintain. The function of the site as part of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System did not change, and the replacement was
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not related to US missile defence proposals. The Relay Ground Station for the Space Based Infra Red System (SBIRS) currently under construction at RAF Menwith Hill is regarded by the US as necessary regardless of any missile defence proposals and is being pursued as a separate project.
(3) what recent discussions he has had with military authorities concerning the behaviour of Chinook helicopters operating over Greater London. 
Dr. Moonie: The Kew Bridge/M4 junction lies within the Thames Valley Avoidance Area and flights over the whole Greater London area are controlled by Heathrow Radar Control. Helicopters must be flown strictly within specific routes and heights unless otherwise directed by the Heathrow Radar Controller.
The Chinook helicopter which flew over Kew on 11 April 2000 did not fly below 750 feet (not 700 feet as I stated to the hon. Member in my letter of 17 February). Neither I nor my Ministerial colleagues have had any discussions with military authorities about the behaviour of Chinook helicopters operating over Greater London.
Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the establishment is for each branch of consultant in the Defence Medical Services; how many are serving in each branch; and what percentage shortfall there is in each case. 
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|Consultant speciality||Operational and retained task||Current manning--consultants including those in command and staff posts||Percentage shortfall|
|Obstetrics and Gynaecology(44)||3||0||100|
|Burns and Plastics||10||3||70|
|Accident and Emergency||23||3||87|
|Oral and Maxillofacial||10||8||20|
|Ear, Nose and Throat||10||3||70|
|Rheumatology and Rehabilitation||7||5||29|
(44) This speciality is being re-established in the regular Defence Medical Services
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 December 2000, Official Report, columns 22-23W, on Porton Down volunteers, if the research to establish the definitive numbers of Porton Down volunteers who have taken part in nerve agent studies will assess whether these studies breached the 1947 Nuremberg code of ethics governing scientific research. 
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has received a report from the Operation Antler team of the Wiltshire police regarding its inquiries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a list of technical reports which have been compiled by the chemical defence establishment at Porton Down to describe and record the results of its nerve agent studies involving service volunteers, specifying the title and date of each report. 
Dr. Moonie: It will take some time to draw up such a list and I will therefore write to the hon. Member setting out such information as is available and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
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