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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the elements of the First Sea Lords job which the post holder would (a) be unable to conduct and (b) find difficulty in accomplishing without sea command experience. 
Mr. Hutton: Holding a command at sea is not a pre-requisite to hold the Office of First Sea Lord. A candidate for the position of First Sea Lord is selected on merit against a range of competences. The incumbent would, however, have naturally attained a wide breadth of experience during their service career and would have completed the most demanding appointments, of which operational command at sea is clearly a prime example. The ability to undertake the full range of duties expected of the First Sea Lord is not, however, dependent on whether or not the individual has held a sea command.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Future Rapid Effects System programme was discussed at the meetings between the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support and GDUK on 13 September 2007 and 29 January 2008; and what ministerial meetings were held with either of the other principal bidders between June 2007 and June 2008. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Future Rapid Effects System programme was discussed in general terms at the meetings between the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support and GDUK on 13 September 2007 and 29 January 2008.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Oral Statement made by the Prime Minister on 22 July 2008, on Iraq, (1) when Operation Charge of the Guards (a) commenced and (b) ended; 
Mr. Hutton: Charge of the Knights is the codename given by the Government of Iraq to a series of operations, led by the Iraqi Security Forces, which were aimed at defeating militia groups, enforcing the rule of law and thereby enabling reconstruction and economic development. Operations under this codename commenced on 25 March 2008 and concluded on 19 June 2008. However, work to achieve the wide-ranging objectives of this series of operations continues.
It is very difficult precisely to define how many UK military personnel were involved in this operation: in principle the entire UK military force in Southern Iraq acted in support. This support ranged from direct involvement with the embedded training teams, through the logistics and engineering staff who performed a critical role in supporting Iraqi and UK units during the operation, to the UK medics in our hospital who provided treatment to those injured during the fighting. As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House on 22 July 2008, more than 800 UK personnel are now embedded with the Iraqi army.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 304W, on Iraq: peace keeping operations, what recent reports he has received on the (a) detention and (b) status of Abdul Razzaq Ali al-Jedda; what representations he has received on the case; and if he will make a statement. 
Prior to his release Mr. al-Jedda was held as a security internee by UK forces in Iraq because it was assessed that he posed a threat to the lives of Multi- National Forces personnel, Iraqi security personnel and Iraqi civilians. In December 2007, on the basis of the latest intelligence and security assessment, it was decided that it was no longer necessary to intern Mr. al-Jedda and he was released to a safe location in Iraq.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During their recent deployment to Kosovo, 2nd Battalion, the Rifles, carried out approximately 10 framework patrols (foot patrols and vehicle checkpoints) per day across their area of operations.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: One soldier was taken ill briefly with heat illness and received treatment in theatre; aside from this there were no recorded instances of UK personnel being injured or wounded during 2nd Battalion, the Rifles' recent deployment to Kosovo.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following numbers of rounds were fired by 2 Rifles. All but one, a 5.56 mm round used to kill an aggressive feral dog attacking one of the patrols, were used for training and calibration of weapons after transit.
|Type of round||Number fired|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are plans to pool the burden of the (a) maintenance, (b) provision of spare parts and (c) any other requirements for the future operation of the A400M cargo plane between EU member states. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The A400M in service support programme is in the assessment phase where all options, including possible partnering with other nations, are being considered. This phase is expected to last until July 2009 when a Main Gate Business Case will be submitted to the Investment Approvals Board with the preferred in service option identified.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any savings will have been forgone as a result of the time taken to sign the Military Flying Training System contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what evaluation was made of the compatibility with the United Kingdom obligations under Article 1 of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) when deciding to invite Norway to participate as a non-nuclear state party to the NPT in the disarmament laboratory project on nuclear warhead dismantlement at AWE Aldermaston. 
Mr. Hutton: The joint research between the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment, several Norwegian laboratories and the non-governmental organisation VERTIC on the verification of warhead dismantlement is being conducted in full accord with the mutual obligations under Articles I and II of the NPT. The underlying aim of the research is to investigate, under a hypothetical future verification regime, what technical evidence and assurances could be demonstrated to third parties without undermining national security or releasing proliferation sensitive information. The research is specifically designed to examine issues of verification while avoiding the use of sensitive design information or materials; constraints, necessarily levied by the NPT, that inspired the initiative.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the enhanced repair and maintenance facility for military equipment at RAF St. Athan will have the capability to repair and maintain road transport carriers for nuclear weapons. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The large aircraft repair and maintenance facility operated by the Defence Support Group at MOD St. Athan has no capability to repair and maintain road transport carriers for nuclear weapons, and there are no plans to develop such a capability there.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) SA-80 assault rifles, (b) 9mm Browning pistols and (c) other weapons, listed by type, were reported (i) lost or missing and later recovered and (ii)
lost or missing and not recovered by armed forces in the United Kingdom in each month since November 2007. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The latest available statistics report no lost or missing SA 80 assault rifles or 9 mm Browning Pistols since November 2007. Between that date and July 2008, one Explosive Ordnance Disposal Disrupter device was reported lost or missing and was later recovered; and one Signal Pistol was reported lost or missing and has not been recovered.
John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reply to the letter of 29 July from the hon. Member for Henley regarding a constituent, Alan Hill, and the sale of property by the Ministry of Defence. 
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will take steps to ensure that people may only advertise their services as accountants once they have undertaken professional requirements similar to those required of solicitors and barristers. 
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Home Office, (b) the Treasury, (c) HM Revenue and Customs and (d) the Scottish Executive on the economic impact of minimum pricing of alcohol. 
Mr. Thomas: A number of Government Departments, including BERR, the Home Office and HM Treasury, are engaged in considering a range of possible measures aimed at helping to reduce alcohol related harms. BERR has had no separate discussions on these matters with either HM Revenue and Customs or the Scottish Executive.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the findings contained in the Office of Fair Trading's market study of personal current accounts. 
Mr. Thomas: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published its market study on personal current accounts on 16 July. The OFT is engaging with interested parties to try and achieve greater clarity, transparency and consumer empowerment in this market. The consultation ends on 31 October. This matter therefore remains with the OFT for the time being. Depending on the outcome of the consultation the OFT hopes to publish a further or final report early in 2009.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many
people have filed for personal bankruptcy by region in each of the last four quarters for which figures are available. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 17 September 2008]: Table 1 below shows the number of bankruptcies in each region of England and Wales for each quarter of 2007, derived from postcodes provided by bankrupt individuals(1).
(1) Figures for Q1 2008 and Q2 2008 are not yet available on this basis.
|Table 1: Bankruptcies in 2007|
|(1) Totals recorded here are not entirely consistent with those published, as they are based on an extract from a live database taken on a particular date and using a slightly different reporting system.|
Missing cases are those where a region could not be assigned to the bankruptcy due to missing or invalid postcode information.
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