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8 May 2003 : Column 842Wcontinued
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what information her Department has collated on the contribution made by British academic institutions to the safeguarding of Iraqi museums and cultural sites. 
Tessa Jowell: Newcastle University and University College London provided lists of key sites of cultural and historical interest in Iraq to the MOD before the start of the conflict in Iraq. Troops were briefed accordingly and avoided key sites of cultural and historic interests as far as possible during the conflict.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions she had with the Department for Education and Skills on the impact on schools of the Youth Sport Trust initiative; 
(3) what discussions took place between her Department and (a) Cadbury, (b) schools, (c) local authorities and (d) parents of children regarding the Youth Sport Trust initiative to encourage children to collect tokens from chocolate bars to provide for sporting equipment; 
(4) how long the Youth Sport Trust initiative will last; what estimates she has made of the number of extra pieces of equipment schools will gain from the initiative; and when the initiative will be reviewed. 
Mr. Caborn: Although the Cadbury's 'Get Active' campaign has similar objectives to the Government's national strategy for physical education, school sport and club links, it is not a Government initiative, and as such, the Department has not had any discussions with any other Department or organisation about it. Nor has the Department made any assessment of the effect in the purchasing of chocolate of encouraging children to collect tokens from confectionary to provide for sporting equipment. 'Get Active' is about promoting a healthy lifestyle through increased levels of activity. It will be worth up to £8 million a year, over the next five years, with Cadbury's contributing 15p in every £1 spent on promotional packs on the purchase of sports equipment for schools.
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Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with European colleagues regarding the progress of the ERRF; and what exercises are planned to test capability. 
Mr. Hoon: Although the EU is seeking to strengthen its rapid response capability, there is no standing European Rapid Reaction Force nor any EU agreement to create one: existing national or multinational forces, declared under the Helsinki Headline Goal, will be made available to the EU on a voluntary, case-by-case basis when required for a crisis management operation. Units declared to the Headline Goal may participate in national, multinational or NATO exercises but there is no specific EU exercise programme to test military capability. The EU does, however, have an agreed programme of exercises to validate its crisis management procedures including a joint EU/NATO exercise planned for November 2003. I regularly discuss the European Security and Defence Policy with European colleagues. The Headline Goal, on which the EU continues to make progress, and rapid response capabilities were discussed most recently at an informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers in March 2003.
Mr. Hoon: There is no standing European Rapid Reaction Force nor any EU agreement to create one: existing national or multinational forces, declared under the Helsinki Headline Goal, will be made available to the EU on a voluntary, case-by-case basis when required for a crisis management operation.
I regularly discuss the European Security and Defence Policy with my French counterpart. Our last meeting was at the Le Touquet summit in February 2003, where we jointly recognised that developing the capacity for rapid reaction was a European priority and agreed to step up co-operation between our national planning and operations staff in order to enhance the interoperability of our Armed Forces to prepare for contingencies where they may be called upon to act together at very short notice.
Mr. Ingram: Two fast jets of the Spanish Air Force conducted a sortie in the vicinity of Gibraltar on 29 April 2003. The aircraft did not enter Gibraltar airspace and no request was made for permission to do so. The Spanish authorities gave RAF Gibraltar advance notice of the aircraft's intentions and the crew remained in contact with RAF Gibraltar Air Traffic Control throughout their time in the vicinity of the Rock. We very much welcome the co-operation of the Spanish authorities which ensured that the jets posed no risk to commercial flight safety.
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Mr. Ingram: The Home and Special Forces Secretariat is a directorate within the Central Staff of the Ministry of Defence Headquarters. It is one of a number of directorates whose role is to formulate policy and provide advice on military capabilities and operations (including to Ministers, the Chiefs of Staff, other Government Departments and civil authorities), and handle related public and parliamentary business. It currently comprises 12 civil servants.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what latest estimate he has of the death toll from current hostilities in Iraq amongst (a) UK forces, (b) US forces, (c) Iraqi forces, (d) Iraqi civilians and (e) other civilian non-combatants. 
Mr. Ingram: Basra and its environs are likely to contain a significant number of unexploded munitions from the Iran-Iraq war as well as mines laid by Iraqi forces, unexploded ordnance fired or dropped during recent hostilities and stores of ammunition and other ordnance left by Iraqi military and paramilitary forces.
Providing a safe, secure and risk free environment for the Iraqi people is a key aspect of restoration activity for the Coalition. When unexploded munitions are discovered Coalition forces' normal practice is to destroy them in situ.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cluster bombs have been dropped on Iraq since the start of current hostilities by (a) UK and (b) US forces; and what information is held on the location of their target. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 28 April 2003]: As of 29 April 2003, United Kingdom forces have dropped about 66 RBL 755 cluster bombs in the Iraq conflict. These have been used against large troop concentrations, armour and artillery in the open. A detailed record of the areas where cluster bombs are known to have been used in Iraq is maintained by the coalition in Theatre. We do not comment on numbers of munitions dropped by other nations.
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 6 May 2003]: United Kingdom Commanders are advised that any evidence believed to be linked to war crimes or crimes against humanity in Iraq is to be preserved and secured so that it may be properly examined by investigating authorities. Where evidence is time-sensitive, and a delay might result in it being lost, it may be seized and retained.
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Mr. Hoon: Access to information on Rules of Engagement is restricted for reasons of operational security. I am therefore withholding this information under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Army units will remain in Iraq and Kuwait; when he expects them to be withdrawn; what replacements are to be made available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon .Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence's two Written Ministerial Statements on Iraq Force Level Adjustments of 11 April 2003 Official Report, columns 3839WS and 30 April Official Report, columns 1516WS. We will continue to inform the House as and when decisions on force adjustments are made.
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence's two written ministerial statements on Iraq Force Level Adjustments of 11 April 2003, Official Report, columns 3839WS and 30 April 2003, Official Report, columns 1516WS). We will continue to ensure that appropriate forces remain in Iraq to fulfil our military campaign objectives of setting the conditions for the stabilisation and reconstruction of Iraq. We will continue to inform the House as and when decisions on force adjustments are made.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent it is possible to assign costs incurred by his Department in connection with the conduct of operations in Iraq (a) to periods (i) before the actual start of military action, (ii) while military action was taking place and (iii) subsequent to the conclusion of high intensity military action and (b) for the purposes of (A) preparing forces and resources and deploying them to the theatre of operations, (B) the conduct of military operations in theatre and (C) the recovery and repatriation of equipment, unused supplies and personnel. 
Mr. Hoon: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House. The data that we might be able to provide may not meet exactly the categorisation requested.
Dr. Moonie: As part of the ongoing training programme, the Ministry of Defence sponsors its personnel for qualifications and awards and seeks external accreditation within the National Qualifications Framework. These qualifications include Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MA) in a number of areas. These areas include: Agriculture; Business Administration; Construction; Engineering; Health, Care and Public Services; Hospitality; Leisure, Sport and Travel; Media and Design; Retailing and Customer Services; and
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Transportation. We estimate that 11,392 personnel within the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and the civil service are currently registered for an MA.
Mr. Ingram: Aid agencies providing humanitarian assistance in Iraq are fully independent of coalition military forces. The Humanitarian Operations Centre in Kuwait City and the Humanitarian Aid Co-ordination Centre in the US Embassy in Amman encourage them to contact coalition forces in the area in which they will operate, in order to ensure they have up-to-date advice, but they are under no obligation to do so. The headquarters of the United Kingdom 1st Armoured Division in Basra includes two humanitarian advisors from the Department for International Development who provide advice on relief activities.
Mr. Ingram: The import of food aid into Iraq is largely the responsibility of a number of Agencies which are independent of the United Kingdom or other Governments. It is difficult to judge, therefore, what proportion of the aid will come through Umm Qasr. However, the rail link from Umm Qasr to the rest of the country is likely to make the port more viable for the import of bulk supplies than road routes. For this reason we believe that a substantial amount of aid will enter Iraq via Umm Qasr once the port is fully open to shipping.
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