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29 Mar 2004 : Column 1142W—continued


Sea Cadet Corps

22. Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what formal relationship there is between the Royal Navy and the Sea Cadet Corps. [163794]

Mr. Caplin: The Royal Navy's formal relationship with the Sea Cadet Corps is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between its two principal sponsors, the Ministry of Defence and the Sea Cadet Association.

Discussions are under way on this memorandum as it is due for review in July this year.

Defence Industrial Policy

23. Mr. Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to involve trade unions in defence industrial policy. [163795]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence regularly exchanges views with trade unionists on a range of defence industrial issues. They have welcomed the Defence Industrial Policy that we published in October 2002.

Aircraft Carriers

24. Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the proposed new aircraft carriers to enter service. [163796]

Mr. Ingram: Our target in-service dates for the two new carriers remain as 2012 and 2015. Estimates for their delivery are being developed progressively during the remainder of the Assessment Phase, taking account

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of the maturing carrier design. Expected in-service dates will be confirmed when we agree the contracting arrangements for Demonstration and Manufacture.

Territorial Army

25. Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army soldiers are deployed in (a) Iraq and (b) Kosovo; and how many of them have been compulsorily mobilised. [163797]

Mr. Caplin: There are currently some 970 Territorial Army personnel serving in Iraq and 10 in Kosovo who have been compulsorily mobilised. In addition, there are five TA personnel serving in Kosovo who have not.

Departmental Officials

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which former officials of the Department have asked for permission to join (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Deloitte & Touche, (c) Ernst & Young and (d) KPMG. [156898]

Mr. Caplin: The Rules on Acceptance of Outside Appointments by Crown Servants (the "Business Appointment Rules"), which are set out in section 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code, require MOD officials within two years of leaving to obtain permission, in the circumstances defined in paragraph 7 of the rules, before taking up new employment.

It is not our policy to discuss individual applications. Only the most senior officials, whose applications are considered by the Prime Ministers' Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, are required to inform their former Department when they take up such appointments. This information is published in the Committee's annual report.

Since 1 January 2001, four former MOD officials have applied for permission to join PricewaterhouseCoopers; two to join KPMG; and two to join Ernst & Young. All applications were approved unconditionally. No applications have been received to join Deloitte & Touche.

Deployments (Germany)

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to relocate an infantry brigade from Germany to the United Kingdom. [163770]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 26 March 2004]: There are no infantry brigades stationed in Germany and we have no plans to change our force levels there.


Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the security situation in Iraq. [163775]

Mr. Hoon: The security situation in Iraq remains difficult, with crime a particular problem. The vast majority of terrorist attacks against Iraqi and Coalition security forces and civilians continue to occur to the North and West of Baghdad. Much of the country is calm, however, and normal life is resuming without incident. Around 75,000 Iraqi police are now on duty and more are being trained.

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I am sure the House would wish to join me in congratulating British forces for the courage and restraint they showed in calming the recent unrest in Basrah.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action has been taken in each of the cases where successful claims for compensation have been paid to Iraqis alleging injury by UK forces; and if he will make a statement. [148005]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 19 January 2004]: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers serving in Iraq have been treated for stress; and if he will make a statement. [162596]

Mr. Caplin: Stress may cause a wide-range of medical conditions. As at 25 March 2004, 120 members of the United Kingdom armed forces had been evacuated from Iraq for psychiatric reasons. We do not record centrally whether individual cases are stress-related.

Kilve Bend Range

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many objects were dropped by aircraft on the range at Kilve Bend in Somerset in the last five years. [161874]

Mr. Ingram: The range at Kilve Bend, part of the Lilstock Royal Navy Range, served until 1995 as a practice bombing range for fixed-wing aircraft using inert ordinance. It was redesignated as a helicopter gunnery range that year and nothing has been dropped by aircraft on the range since.


Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department gives to the Humanitarian Operations Centre in Kuwait; and if he will make a statement. [157452]

Mr. Ingram: The UK currently fills one staff officer post in the Humanitarian Operations Centre and is in the process of filling a second.

Osama Bin Laden

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops are involved in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden; what progress has been made in the search; and if he will make a statement. [164384]

Mr. Hoon: The United Kingdom continues to support the objectives of Operation Enduring Freedom, the US-led coalition operation against international terrorism and its continuing search for the leadership of Al Qaida. All UK forces in the theatre are involved in helping to stabilise Afghanistan to ensure it does not again become a haven for terrorists.

RAF Stafford

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the radioactive items held at RAF Stafford, indicating in each case (a) the length of time held and (b) the purpose of holding them. [163972]

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Mr. Caplin: It will take some time to collate the information requested.

I will, therefore write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Sanctuary Magazine

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money was spent on (a) research, (b) staffing costs, (c) printing and publication, (d) distribution and (e) other costs for Sanctuary magazine No. 32, 2003; and how much was paid to DCCS Media. [163546]

Mr. Caplin: All research for Sanctuary magazine is carried out by MOD staff, for whom production of the publication is part of their normal duties. Consequently, there are no separate staffing or research costs. The printing and publication costs for the 2003 edition were some £27,000, with the distribution costing £1,500. All costs were met from the budget of the Defence Estates Agency, with no direct payment being made to DCCS media.

War Disablement Pensioners

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people in London are in receipt of a war disablement pension; and how many of those receive the war pensioners' mobility supplement. [163749]

Mr. Caplin: According to the Veterans Agency Computer System, as at 31 December 2003, there were 8,710 ongoing war disablement pensioners with a recorded address in the Government Office Region of London.

Of these, 820 were receiving the war pensioners' mobility supplement.

Please note that all figures are rounded to the nearest five.


Cabinet Committee on Relocation

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister with reference to the recommendations of the Lyons Report, when a Cabinet Committee on relocation will be set up; who will chair it; and who its members will be. [164585]

The Prime Minister: I shall announce shortly the arrangements for following up this aspect of Sir Michael Lyons's report.

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