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Mr. Ingram: The key targets have been set for the Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA) for the financial year 200203. The targets build upon progress made by the agency since it formed on 1 April 1997, and are set against three main groupings as follows.
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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the MOD facilities in Gibraltar; what the future of the MOD facilities in Gibraltar under the Brussels Process is; and what arrangements have been made under the Brussels Process for the continued use of military facilities in Gibraltar by UK forces in the event of a 'yes' vote in the referendum 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence maintains a wide range of facilities in Gibraltar, including HM Naval Base; RAF Gibraltar; the Royal Naval hospital; ammunition, fuel and stores depots; a training area; maritime exercise areas; communications facilities; sport and recreational facilities; St. Christopher's school; and accommodation for service and civilian personnel. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Europe told the House on 16 April 2002, Official Report, column 451, the United Kingdom will retain full control over the British military base in Gibraltar.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much mustard gas is stored in the Beaufort trench; and what recent assessment has been carried out to determine the health risks associated with the site. 
Dr. Moonie: Detailed inventories of chemical weapons and other munitions disposed of in Beaufort's Dyke are no longer available; many records were destroyed after the disposals as a matter of routine custom and practice in view of the fact that sea dumping of munitions, including CW-filled items, was then an acceptable method of disposal. Where records of disposals do remain in existence, they have been released to the Public Record Office. From those existing records, it is known that some 14,500 tons of 5 inch artillery rockets filled with phosgene were dumped in Beaufort's Dyke in July 1945. There are no records which indicate that other chemical weapons, including mustard gas, have been disposed of to that dump
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site. As to the potential risk posed by chemical weapons, the long-held consensus of international scientific opinion is that munitions on the sea bed present no significant risk to safety, human health or the marine environment, provided they remain undisturbed.
Phosgene is destroyed by hydrolysis on contact with seawater. The surveys of Beaufort's Dyke conducted by the then Scottish Office in 1995 and 1996 found no residual traces of chemical weapons in that dump site. A copy of the 1996 report by the Scottish Office, entitled 'Fisheries Research Service Report 15/96'. which confirms the findings of the surveys, is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent (a) representations he has received from the NATO Secretary-General and (b) discussions he has had with his European counterparts concerning the possibility for European countries to come together in order to obtain a fleet of C-17s and C-130Js to fill the gap until their orders for the A400M come forward; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Transport aircraft are one of the capability shortfall areas which European Union member states have identified in the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP). The shortfall is primarily in outsized transport aircraft (larger than a C130). An ECAP panel led by the UK is looking at a number of possible options for member states to address this.
Progress against the ECAP is discussed regularly by EU Defence Ministers, most recently at the informal meeting in Zaragoza on 2223 March. As capability improvements achieved through the ECAP also benefit NATO, there are regular contacts with the NATO Secretary-General on this topic.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with representatives of the armed forces regarding the removal of the traditional sentry duty of Edinburgh castle. 
Mr. Ingram: Such decisions are quite rightly a matter for the local army commander. In this case, the decision to withdraw the traditional sentries from continuous duty at Edinburgh castle between April and September was taken by the General Officer Commanding, 2nd Division, after due consideration. The hon. Member should note however that castle guard will continue to be mounted during state ceremonial occasions during the summer months.
Mr. Ingram: The General Officer Commanding 2nd Division has received a number of letters and pre-printed coupons, cut from an Edinburgh evening newspaper, seeking reinstatement of the sentries. He has also received a letter from Sarah Boyack, a Member of the Scottish Parliament. I too have received a copy of Ms Boyack's letter and I will be replying to her shortly.
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Mr. Ingram: The direct costs of mounting the sentries at Edinburgh castle are in the order of £84,000 each year. The indirect cost is the fact that the soldiers concerned are not available for military training or other duties. These costs cannot be readily quantified.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the Government have made of the impact the traditional sentry duty of Edinburgh castle has on (a) morale of army soldiers and (b) army resources. 
Mr. Ingram: Soldiers acting as sentries at Edinburgh castle are aware that they have no guarding or security role, and this is not conducive to good morale. In terms of resourcing, providing these sentries throughout the summer months is a heavy drain upon the single battalion which is available for public duties in Scotland and, as such, represents an inappropriate use of highly trained military manpower.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to provide the figure for the total number of operational nuclear warheads in the United Kingdom's stockpile; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: In line with the policy set out in the Strategic Defence Review, we have fewer than 200 operationally available warheads. It would not be in the interests of national security to be more precise than this, and I am therefore withholding the information sought under Exemption 1 (Defence, Security and International Relations) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The right hon. Member may like to note that the United Kingdom is widely agreed already to be the most transparent country in the world about its holdings of nuclear weapons.
Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance he is giving to South Atlantic veterans to visit the South Atlantic to mark the 20th anniversary of the recapture of the Falkland Islands. 
Mr. Ingram: It is not the Government's policy to provide assistance in the form of free or subsidised travel for veterans who wish to attend commemorative events overseas, and there is no provision in the Defence budget for such expenditure. The one exception is the war widows pilgrimage scheme operated on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by Remembrance Travel, the pilgrimage department of the Royal British Legion, which enables widows of servicemen who died while serving overseas in or before 1967 to visit their husband's grave once at a reduced rate.
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Mr. Ingram: The Falkland Islands authorities are planning a series of events later this year, culminating in a cathedral service in Stanley on Liberation Day, 14 June. The armed forces will take part in a tri-service parade with each of the services represented and the Royal Marines will provide a band. I will visit the Falkland Islands at this time and will attend the cathedral service on behalf of the armed forces.
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