Previous Section Index Home Page

Government Expenditure Target

Mr. Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made towards meeting the Government's target for expenditure on overseas development as a proportion of gross national product. [157222]

Clare Short: My Department announced on 2 April that the UK oda/GNP ratio for calendar year 2000 is provisionally estimated at 0.31 per cent. This puts the Government on track to achieve the target of 0.33 per cent. by the financial year 2003-04.


Manual of Military Law Part III

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans there are for the Manual of Military Law Part III to be (a) be revised, (b) reprinted and (c) reissued; and if he will make a statement; [155920]

Mr. Spellar: The Manual of Military Law Part III (MML Pt III) was first published in 1958. MML Pt III is an academic legal text, a reference document for lawyers, and a detailed, if dated, commentary on the rules of war. In practice, the incorporation of legal requirement in

4 Apr 2001 : Column: 197W

Rules of Engagement, courses on international law at all levels at appropriate times, and cards setting out main war crimes issued to servicemen going into combat are all more relevant to servicemen than MML Pt III. As such, MML Pt III is only one way in which the Law of Armed Conflict is disseminated in the Army.

There are no plans to reprint MML Pt III in its current form but it has not been withdrawn from circulation. Copies are still held at unit and formation level and further copies may be requested from the Central Services Establishment, Llangennech.

MML Pt III is being completely rewritten as a Joint Service Publication (JSP 383) and will therefore cover the law of armed conflict applicable to land, sea and air operations. A timetable for publication and distribution has not yet been fixed as draft texts are still being considered.

Army Recruits (Commonwealth)

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on his plans to make greater use of the Commonwealth as a source of potential army recruits; which (a) countries and (b) specialities will be targeted; and what the budget of the recruitment exercise will be; [156793]

Mr. Spellar: The Army has no plans to recruit actively from the Commonwealth and there is, therefore, no specific budget allocated to this area of recruitment. Applications are welcomed from Commonwealth citizens, subject to their meeting the normal entry criteria, irrespective of whether the Queen is head of state or not. Successful applicants are placed wherever vacancies exist according to their qualifications, performance at selection and preferences, where possible; there are no plans to institute "Commonwealth" regiments. Individuals enlist under the same terms and conditions of service as UK applicants and are required to swear an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen as head of the Commonwealth. The visits made to Fiji and St. Vincent and the Grenadines by army selection teams in 1999 and 2000 took place in order to process the large backlog of applications from these countries; no new recruitment was undertaken during these visits. The British Army has traditionally welcomed members of the Commonwealth as soldiers and officers. It is perhaps the spread of information via the world wide web and similar mediums that has increased the level of interest from overseas areas in recent months.

4 Apr 2001 : Column: 198W

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-British citizens from Commonwealth countries are serving in the armed forces other than in training or observation roles, in each case (a) the regiment or unit in which they serve, (b) the country of which they are a citizen and (c) the terms of service; and if he will make a statement. [156796]

Mr. Spellar: The table details the numbers of non-British citizens from Commonwealth countries serving in the Army by Arm/Corps as at 1 March 2001.

Army CorpsTotal
Household Cavalry7
Royal Armoured Corps27
Royal Artillery57
Royal Engineers19
Royal Signals23
Scots Division109
Queens Division70
Kings Division33
Prince of Wales' Division76
Light Division50
Royal Irish (General Service)25
Army Air Corps9
Royal Army Chaplains Division5
Royal Logistical Corps84
Royal Army Medical Corps37
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers14
Adjutant General's Corps (Provost Branch)5
Adjutant General's Corps (Staff and Personnel Support Branch)25
Royal Army Dental Corps11
Long Service List5
Grand total801

The table details the country of which they are a citizen (as at 1 March 2001).

Malta Gc6
New Zealand51
Trinidad and Tobago9
South Africa70

To ensure confidentiality under the Data Protection Act (1998) several Corps and nationalities were combined in the category 'Other' as categories with less than five entries cannot be published. The Corps combined include: Corps of Army Music, Army Physical Training Corps, Intelligence Corps, Adjutant General's Corps (Army Legal Service), Adjutant General's Corps Education and Training Service, Gurkhas, Staff, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and Royal Veterinary Corps.

Non-British citizens from Commonwealth countries serve on the same terms of service as British citizens.

4 Apr 2001 : Column: 199W

It is not possible to publish data for the Royal Navy or RAF as details on nationality are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Lairg Primary School

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he received the report of the Laboratory of the Government Chemist on its analysis of clothing taken from children at Lairg Primary School, Sutherland, following an incident on 15 February; and if he will make a statement. [156891]

Dr. Moonie: As I said in my letter of 8 March to the right hon. Member, the incident on 15 February at Lairg Primary School was being investigated. The report of the Laboratory of the Government Chemist was received by the RAF Police Defence Flying Complaints Investigation Team (DFCIT) on 27 March. The results show no trace of any aviation product or noxious substance. The full DFCIT investigation into the incident is nearing completion and I will write once the RAF Police report is to hand.

Type 22 Frigates

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made on the disposal of the remaining Type 22 frigates. [156675]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 3 April 2001]: Final disposal options on the remaining Type 22 frigates--HMS Boxer, HMS London and HMS Brave--are currently being considered. HMS Beaver, the first of the Type 22s declared surplus under the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, has been sold in a non-operational condition to the commercial market.


Death Penalty

Mr. Cox: To ask the President of the Council how many cases are under consideration by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council concerning the possible use of the death penalty; and if she will list the countries to which they relate. [156190]

Mrs. Beckett: There is a total of 16 cases, involving 19 persons under sentence of death, currently pending in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. These figures are made up as follows:

The cases come from Antigua and Barbuda (two cases), The Bahamas (two), Belize (three), Grenada (three), Jamaica (one), St. Lucia (one), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (one) and Trinidad and Tobago (three).

4 Apr 2001 : Column: 200W

Next Section Index Home Page