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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gurkha troops are serving in Gurkha regiments based in the United Kingdom. [54635]

Mr. Ingram: The total number of trained Gurkhas serving in the United Kingdom as at 1 April 2002 is 2,291. There is only one Gurkha Infantry Battalion based in the United Kingdom; however, Gurkha Reinforcement Companies are currently serving with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, 1 Royal Irish and 1 Highlanders. There are also formed Gurkha units serving with 10 Transport Regiment, 30 Signal Regiment, 36 Engineer Regiment and in training establishments at Sandhurst and Brecon. In addition, there are small numbers of Gurkha servicemen serving as "Attached Arms" within numerous other establishments across the British Army.

Territorial Army

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne) of 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 373W, what savings accrued from the cancellation of the exercises. [54901]

Mr. Ingram: Information on the savings which might have accrued from the cancellation of the 84 exercises listed in the answer given on 22 November 2001 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Savings might have accrued, for example, from the cancellation of chartered transport or from a reduction in fuel consumption. However, other costs such as personnel, equipment and infrastructure costs are fixed and would not have been saved when an exercise was cancelled.

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Navy Vessels

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the oldest ship in commission in the Royal Navy is. [54641]

Mr. Ingram: The oldest ship in commission in the Royal Navy is HMS Victory which was commissioned in 1778. Although HMS Victory is the oldest ship in commission in the Royal Navy, she is no longer floating but is set in a dry dock in Portsmouth naval base. The oldest commissioned ship which is still afloat is HMS Fearless which was brought into service in November 1965 and is due to be de-commissioned on 31 October 2002.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the complement is of (a) HMS Cardiff, (b) HMS Edinburgh, (c) HMS York, (d) HMS Nottingham, (e) HMS Glasgow, (f) HMS Exeter, (g) HMS Southampton and (h) HMS Newcastle. [54884]

Mr. Ingram: The respective complements are set out in the table:

Glasgow 251

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to put into reserve HMS Cornwall, HMS Campbeltown, HMS Chatham and HMS Cumberland in Portsmouth naval base. [55433]

Mr. Ingram: There are no current plans to put any of the Type 22 (Batch 3) frigates into reserve.

Defence Logistics Organisation

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the operating costs were of the Defence Logistics Organisation in (a) 2002–03 and (b) each year since it was established. [54900]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) was formed on 3 April 2000. The first year of operation (2000–01) was managed under a cash regime. 2001–02 was managed under the new resource accounting system for the first time but the final outturn will not be available until the end of October 2002 which is when the National Audit Office is expected to have completed the audit of the departmental accounts. Operating costs have therefore been provided on a cash basis for consistency as follows:

Under a cash accounting regime, operating costs include expenditure on capital projects and running costs. The outturn for 2000–01 included a transfer of some £600 million from the Defence Procurement Agency to the DLO following the transfer of responsibility for the management of in-service support costs. Financial year

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2001–02 included a transfer of an additional £400 million for in-service support, taking the annual total transfer of in-service support costs into the DLO to around £1 billion.

Financial year 2002–03 has only just started and under the new resource accounting regime the DLO has not been given a cash control total equivalent target.

Split North Port

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was for the use of the Split North Port by British forces between September 1992 and January 2002. [54835]

Mr. Ingram: The cost to the Ministry of Defence for the use of Split North Port between September 1992 and January 2002 was £10.14 million.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated level of losses to fraud and corruption was in (a) his Department's Vote 1 budget and (b) his Department's Vote 2 budget for (i) 1999–2000 and (ii) 2000–01. [54703]

Dr. Moonie: The reported estimated losses arising from suspected fraud (including theft and corruption) are as follows:


No abatement is made for subsequent recoveries. The figures, which relate entirely to the resource estimates formerly ascribed as Vote 1 attribution, are a combination of suspected and proven frauds and theft with estimated values refined from time to time as investigations, sometimes lasting a year or more, reach a conclusion. A significant element of estimated cost or value can relate to 'at risk' estimates applied to suspected procurement cases, the majority of which have a proven value lower than original estimates with a significant number of cases resolved as 'no crime'.

Medial Treatment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) standard of treatment (b) in-patient waiting time, (c) out-patient waiting time and (d) cost of the current medical treatment of armed forces personnel in (i) the private sector and (ii) the NHS. [54135]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 7 May 2002]: We consider that a satisfactory standard of treatment is provided to Service personnel by the NHS and private healthcare providers. The majority of Service patients treated in NHS hospitals are admitted to Ministry of Defence Hospital Units whose host NHS trusts are set targets by the Defence Secondary Care Agency, reflecting its own Key Targets for both in-patient and out-patient waiting times. Overall performance against the key targets is published in the Agency's Annual Report, which is laid before Parliament. The contracts with the NHS trusts are monitored for cost effectiveness. Some Service personnel receive treatment at other NHS hospital trusts with whom

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we have no contractual agreements, where this is more appropriate for them. As entitled patients, they receive such treatment free of charge. Limited use is made of private healthcare providers to enable Service personnel to be treated and returned to deployability more quickly, where this is considered cost effective.


Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of service has been for (a) British nationals, (b) Gurkhas and (c) foreign nationals, broken down by country serving in the British Army. [55453]

Mr. Ingram: The tables show officer and soldier mean length of service. Nationality at birth before 1997 is not available on strength data so only the last six years have been shown. Totals shown are for untrained and trained personnel, ie officer designates are included in the officer table.

Calculations have been made using the mean length of service totals as at April 2001 of each year for those personnel on current strength at that date. Figures on mean length of service have only been calculated for populations of 10 or more.

Average length of service in years—as at April

(a) British11.7111.6011.7511.5711.5211.36
(b) Gurkhasn/a22.9922.5622.3822.1822.40
(c) Foreign(3)
Nationality (at birth)
Malta GC18.2217.4415.9315.0416.70
New Zealand6.887.217.367.507.237.30
Republic of Ireland10.3610.2910.9811.7411.4410.33
South Africa8.808.829.246.546.815.50

(3) Those nationalities with a current strength more than 9 as at April 2001

Average length of service in years—as at April

(a) British8.
(b) Gurkhasn/a 9.09 8.97 9.01 9.16 9.10
(c) Foreign(4)
Nationality (at birth)
Grenada (Windward Islands)1.00
New Zealand7.096.895.986.686.958.41
New Zealand Islands1.94
Republic of Ireland8.247.667.847.798.309.20
South Africa4.884.323.812.792.482.17
St. Helena0.420.661.072.09
St. Lucia Island0.89
St. Vincent Island0.491.46
Trinidad and Tobago4.413.33

(4) Those nationalities with a current strength more than 9 as at April 2001

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