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17 Jul 2003 : Column 481W—continued

Defence Expenditure

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on (a) the front line and (b) procurement in current prices in each year since 1999–2000; and what his plans are for each year until 2005–06. [125589]

Mr. Ingram: This information is published in The Government's Expenditure Plans 2003–04 to 2005–06. Tables two and three contain details of the Ministry of    Defence's resource consumption and capital expenditure broken down into categories, which include Front Line and Procurement. These tables detail outturn for 1999–2000 to 2002–03 (estimated) and plans for 2003–04 to 2005–06 at outturn prices. These figures can be re-based to constant prices using the factors available from the HM Treasury website,

A copy of The Government's Expenditure Plans 2003–04 to 2005–06 has been placed in the Library of the House.

Defence Logistics Organisation

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the contracts (a) initiated and (b) changed by the Defence Logistics Organisation within (i) one week, (ii) two weeks and (iii) one month of the (A) deployment of troops and (B) commencement of hostilities for Operation Telic. [122045]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) places a large number of contracts on a daily basis in support of a wide spectrum of operational and non-operational requirements. The DLO does not maintain a central record of all contracts, and production of a list of contracts initiated or changed during the periods specified could only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the Urgent Operational Requirements placed by the Defence Logistics Organisation within (a) one week, (b) two weeks and (c) one month of the commencement of (i) Operation Telic and (ii) the hostilities in Afghanistan. [122046]


 
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Mr. Ingram: No Urgent Operational Requirements were placed by the Defence Logistics Organisation over the periods of the operations stated.

Drug Seizures

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what value of drugs has been confiscated in operations involving Royal Navy warships in each of the past two years. [126139]

Mr. Ingram: Royal Navy warships provide assistance to HM Customs and Excise and other anti-narcotics agencies resulting in the seizure of drugs worth some £40 million in 2001–02 and some £110 million in 2002–03. So far in 2003–04 drugs worth approximately £500 million have been seized.

Drummore Harbour

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the accessibility of Drummore harbour to seacraft. [125735]

Mr. Caplin: The accessibility of Drummore Harbour is not a matter for the Ministry of Defence.

EU Directives

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the EU Directives and Regulations which have been implemented by his Department since 17 April 2002. [106841]

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulations originating from the EU have been implemented by his department over each of the last five years. [120854]

Mr. Caplin: EU Regulations are, in general, directly applicable in the member states, without the need for implementation in national law.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer my right hon. Friend and the Foreign Secretary gave on 30 June 2003, Official Report, columns 64–65W, to the hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink).

Many regulations apply across many different Whitehall Departments. Information relating to implementation of regulations is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Galileo Project

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his letter D/S of S/GH 3295/03/Y, what progress has been made on interoperability with the United States in relation to the Galileo Project. [126269]

Mr. Hoon: Negotiations continue between the European Union and the United States on the interoperability of the Galileo satellite navigation system and the US Global Positioning System.

Gulf War Illnesses

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his letter D/US of S/IC 3139/03/6, what the most recent results of his longitudinal studies into tracking Gulf War illnesses are. [126268]


 
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Mr. Caplin: As part of our portfolio of research into the ill-health suffered by some United Kingdom veterans of the 1990–91 Gulf Conflict, we funded a long term study of the changing health over a three-year period of a cohort of veterans of that conflict. The study is complete and the results are to be published in a scientific journal following peer-review. In May, we announced plans for research into the physical and psychological health of those who deployed to the Middle East on Operation Telic on 7 May 2003, Official Report, columns 34–36WS. This includes initiating a longitudinal study of veterans, the results of which will be published in the peer reviewed scientific literature when available.

Hermitage Site

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the Ministry of Defence site at Hermitage, Berkshire. [126376]

Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence is undertaking a study to examine the operational benefits of reducing the Defence Geographic and Imagery Intelligence Agency (DGIA) estate from three principal sites to two. One of the Business Units of DGIA is the Geographic Engineer Group (GEG), which is located at Hermitage, near Newbury in Berkshire. Initially, the study will consider the operational benefits of moving the GEG from Hermitage to RAF Brampton, Cambridgeshire, where it would be co-located with another DGIA Business Unit, the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC). If it is concluded that there are operational benefits, the feasibility of undertaking co-location will be assessed in the second phase of the study. The study is expected to be completed by the end of February 2004.

The MOD regularly conducts such studies, with a view to improving operational effectiveness and value for money. There will be full consultation with all people potentially affected by the outcome of the study. No decisions on a move have been made and options for the use of the Hermitage site, should the current occupants move, have not yet been considered.

HMS Bulwark

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when HMS Bulwark will be operational. [125618]

Mr. Ingram: On the basis of current information, it is expected that HMS Bulwark will enter service with the Royal Navy towards the end of next year and be available for operational deployment in the spring of 2005. However, the programme for completion of HMS Bulwark is yet to be finalised with the contractor, BAE Systems. When dates are confirmed, I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Iraq

Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister what the status is of the Iraqi prisoners handed over to the US army by British troops. [125247]

Mr. Ingram: As at 8 July, the United States was holding on behalf of the United Kingdom one prisoner of war and 23 internees captured by British Forces, who
 
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are either suspected of committing criminal offences or are interned where necessary for imperative reasons of   security in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries are providing troops for peacekeeping duties in Iraq. [124464]

Mr. Hoon: At least 18 states are expected to contribute military forces and personnel to work alongside United Kingdom and United States troops in the multi-national stabilisation force in Iraq. These states are Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand and Ukraine. New Zealand will provide engineers for humanitarian and reconstruction tasks. Other nations are also expected to contribute.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training was given to Army personnel deployed on Operation Telic in respect of use of the grenade launchers for SA80A2. [125593]

Mr. Ingram: A specialist training team was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, to provide in-theatre training to selected battalions on the use of the SA80 Under-slung Grenade Launcher (UGL). Some units had already received training, relating to their previous deployment to Afghanistan.

The main focus of the team was to train unit instructors and Senior Non-commissioned Officers, who then oversaw the training of other individuals within their units. This training was accompanied by training to unit armourers on holding and maintaining the UGL and its ammunition.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when orders were placed for additional desert clothing which was required for Operation Telic. [125595]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 June 2003, Official Report, column 46W, to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock).

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many servicemen and women were (a) killed and (b) injured in the conflict in Iraq. [118047]

Mr. Ingram: As of 10 July, 43 United Kingdom military personnel had died since the start of coalition military operations against Iraq. All were men. Thirty-four were killed in action or subsequently died of wounds received and nine died in non-battle accidents or from natural causes; 155 UK military personnel were injured in battle. We do not hold central records for those injured in other incidents.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of each of the friendly fire incidents involving British personnel in Iraq; what changes are planned to reduce future occurrences; and if he will make a statement. [125982]

Mr. Ingram: Thorough investigations are on-going into all such incidents. We will give close consideration to the reports and recommendations of these
 
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investigations, and where appropriate, will consider what can be done further to improve the safety of our forces on operations.


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