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Mr. Cedric Brown: Retirement Package

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): This is a matter for the company and its shareholders.

Agricultural Spraying: Investigation of Complaints

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ensure that there are enough inspectors available during the spring and summer to ensure that complaints from the public who have suffered health effects from inappropriate spraying by farmers and contractors are promptly and efficiently investigated.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): Yes.

Gulf War: French Forces

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether French military personnel were in action in the same theatres of operation as the British and American military personnel during the Gulf War, and whether they performed similar duties.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): The French deployed forces from all three services to the Gulf area. Air and sea units were located in approximately the same areas as British forces. French Army forces were initially based in the same area as British forces but during the ground operations the French served with a US Corps that deployed further west and north of where British troops deployed.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there have been any reports of Gulf War syndrome amongst French military personnel who were involved in the Gulf War.

Earl Howe: No reports have been received that French military personnel who served in the Gulf War are suffering from unexplained illnesses or increased prevalence of illness related to that service.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether reports that the French Commander in Chief directly ordered that no French Military personnel should be administered the vaccination "cocktails" given to British and American personnel and also that French personnel should not take pyridostigmine bromide (NAPS) tablets, are correct.

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Earl Howe: We are not aware of any order being given by the French Commander in Chief that French personnel should not be given any prophylactic anti-biological and chemical warfare measures. However, we understand that French personnel were not offered anti-biological warfare vaccines or NAPS tablets.

Gulf War Service and Mycoplasma Infections

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the clinical tests conducted on military personnel who have reported ill-health following service in the Gulf War will include gene tracking for altered mycoplasma on the basis of research conducted by Garth L. Nicholson PhD and Nancy L. Nicholson PhD of Texas.

Earl Howe: We do not believe that the research conducted by Garth L. Nicholson and Nancy L. Nicholson provides any evidence of a connection between illnesses among veterans, mycoplasma infections and service in the Gulf.

NATO Nuclear Forces: Mr. Robert Bell's Remarks

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What meaning they attach to the statement by Mr. Robert Bell, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to the President of the United States on 19th October 1995 at the George Marshall Institute, that "European audiences . . . still count on the American guarantee in Europe and can thereby forgo their own nuclear programmes" and whether they are contemplating forgoing the United Kingdom's nuclear programme, as this statement seems to propose.

Earl Howe: Mr. Bell was referring to the continuing contribution by the United States to the nuclear forces of the Alliance, which provide a supreme guarantee of security to both nuclear and non nuclear Allies. The Alliance's Strategic Concept endorsed by the US and all other allies recognises the important contribution to deterrence provided by the independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have reason to believe that the remarks of Mr. Robert Bell at the George C. Marshall Institute do not represent the view of the United States Administration.

Earl Howe: We understand that Mr. Bell was speaking in his official capacity.



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