|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 23 April 2001, Official Report, column 89W. The main site, known as DERA Pershore, was transferred on 1 July 2001 to QinetiQ, a wholly Government owned plc formed from 75 per cent. of the former DERA Trading Fund. QinetiQ will be responsible for continuing the Ministry of Defence related uses of the site, as well as taking forward any regeneration of the area in concert with the local and regional authorities.
The part of the airfield used in helping to deal with the consequences of foot and mouth disease is in the process of being transferred to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 143W
the effect of research on service volunteers at Porton Down; what his response was to the advice; and if he has plans to establish an independent inquiry. 
Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Mr. Taylor) on 28 June and 13 July 2001, Official Report, columns 133W and 622W respectively. Any resultant epidemiology study will be carried out independently of the Ministry of Defence. On 1 May I announced that the Department would conduct an historical survey of the Porton Volunteer Trials, and that this would be supervised by Professor Ian Kennedy of University College London. In addition, an investigation by the Wiltshire police of the Porton Down volunteer programme from 1939 to 1989 is under way. There are no plans for a further independent inquiry.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on what dates the Ethical subgroup of the Defence Scientific Advisory Committee Medical Committee scrutinised the experiment in 1989 in which service personnel were exposed to sarin nerve gas at the chemical defence establishment, Porton Down; and if he will place in the Library copies of the minutes of the committee which relate to the discussion of this experiment; 
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the training budget is being transferred from DRE Aberporth to his Department; and what the timetable for the transfer is. 
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 144W
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs were incurred by his Department in providing armed service personnel support to defence equipment demonstrations in the last 12 months. 
Dr. Moonie: Within the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Export Services Organisation is responsible for co-ordinating Government support to industry in promoting legitimate defence exports with other parts of MOD assisting as required.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the net operating costs of DESO and related support functions were for the financial years (a) 199798, (b) 199899, (c) 19992000 and (d) 200001. 
These net operating costs are more than offset by benefits to the Defence budget, estimated at around £400 million a year, arising from DESO's activities. These benefits include a reduction in overhead costs for UK Procurement as a result of export orders, and receipts from Commercial Exploitation Levy and disposal of surplus Ministry of Defence equipment.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have taken place regarding the dredging of Portsmouth Harbour in relation to the Future Aircraft Carrier procurement project; and if he will make a statement. 
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 145W
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 12 July 2001]: As part of the Future Aircraft Carrier Assessment phase, contractors have visited several naval bases and port facilities to analyse their suitability for berthing and basing of the vessels. One of the issues addressed has been access and the requirement, if any, for dredging. Discussions to date have only been of an informal nature and no decisions have yet been made on berthing or basing options for the carriers and any potential dredging requirements. Further studies, involving environmental impact assessments, will take place during the next stage of assessment. The relevant authorities will be consulted on the results, as required.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tests have been conducted on (a) military service personnel from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth forces in Australia, in respect of exposure to radiation from the detonation of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, since 1971, and (b) children in (i) Hong Kong and (ii) the United Kingdom, in respect of the take up of radiation into body parts; and if he will make a statement on recent representations made to the Government on radiological tests. 
Dr. Moonie: No tests have been conducted on military service personnel from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth forces in Australia since 1971 in respect of exposure to radiation from the detonation of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.
Tests conducted on children in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, in respect of the take up of radiation into body parts and recent representations made to the Government on radiological tests, are matters for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which British overseas defence establishments locally engaged staff are paid below local poverty datum lines; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Ministry of Defence employs over 13,000 locally engaged civilian staff around the world. Their conditions of service, including pay levels, are set in accordance with the terms of the discretionary authority conferred by the Treasury on Departments. This ensures that pay levels are established by reference to local best practice. Periodic pay reviews must be informed by local surveys of comparable employers thus ensuring that MOD remuneration remains competitive. Locally engaged staff play a vital role in support of the British armed forces overseas and it is in the MOD's interests to ensure that it is able to recruit and retain adequate numbers of the right calibre.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|