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Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: No. For security reasons, blank passports are numbered by the printers before despatch to the Passport Offices of the United Kingdom Passport Agency, and the British Consulates and British High Commissions abroad.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: There is no time limit imposed upon the person submitting the passport for cancellation. As stated in the notes inside passports, the passport of a deceased person should be submitted for cancellation to the nearest British passport issuing authority.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: Precise figures for the number of United Kingdom passports lost or stolen are not kept but it is estimated that about 80,000 are reported each year, of which about 20,000 are in foreign countries. A significant number of these passports are expired while a smaller percentage will subsequently be found having been originally misplaced.

Passport issuing within the United Kingdom is now computerised and the system allows the recording of machine readable passports that have been reported lost, stolen or found. Arrangements are being considered which would provide the United Kingdom Passport Agency with statistics from the computerised records to monitor the problem.

Military Museums: Funding

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): There are six national Service museums for which the Ministry of Defence is responsible. These are: the Royal Navy Museum, the Royal Marines Museum, The Fleet Air Arm Museum, The Submarine Museum, The National

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Army Museum and the Royal Air Force Museum. A proportion of their annual funding is provided by a Grant in Aid from MoD funds.

In addition, there are 70 Regimental Museums which receive some annual financial assistance from the appropriate MoD Budget Holder. These are listed in the table below.

There are many other military museums and collections which have some affiliation to Service units and which do not receive any financial assistance from the MoD. There are also many diverse museums and collections specialising in military matters operated by other government departments, local authorities and miscellaneous organisations. There is no central register of such collections and the information could not be provided without disproportionate cost.

Corps and Regimental Museums in receipt of some MoD Funding

1.Household CavalryWindsor
2.Queen's Dragoon GuardsCardiff
3.Royal Scots Dragoon GuardsEdinburgh
4.Royal Dragoon GuardsYork
5.Royal Dragoon GuardsChester
6.Queen's Royal HussarsEastbourne
7.Queen's Royal HussarsWarwick
8.9th/12th Royal LancersDerby
9.King's Royal HussarsPreston
10.King's Royal HussarsWinchester
11. Light DragoonsNewcastle-Upon-Tyne
12.Light DragoonsBarnsley
13.Queen's Royal LancersBelvoir Castle
14.Royal Tank RegimentBovington, Dorset
15.Royal Regiment of ArtilleryWoolwich
16.Corps of Royal EngineersChatham
17.Royal Corps of SignalsBlandford Forum
18.Foot GuardsLondon
19.Royal ScotsEdinburgh
20.Royal Highland FusiliersGlasgow
21.King's Own Scottish BorderersBerwick-upon-Tweed
22.Black WatchPerth
24.HighlandersFort George, Inverness
25.Argyll & Sutherland HighlandersStirling
26.Princess of Wales's Royal RegimentDover
27.Princess of Wales's Royal RegimentWinchester
28.Princess of Wales's Royal RegimentGuildford
29.Royal Regiment of FusiliersLondon
30.Royal Regiment of FusiliersAlnwick
31.Royal Regiment of FusiliersBury
32.Royal Regiment of FusiliersWarwick
33.Royal Anglian RegimentBury St. Edmunds
34.Royal Anglian RegimentChelmsford
35.Royal Anglian RegimentNorthampton
36.Royal Anglian RegimentNorwich
37.King's Own Royal Border RegimentCarlisle
38.Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of YorkshireYork
39.Green HowardsRichmond, North Yorks
40.Queen's Lancashire RegimentPreston
41.York and Lancaster RegimentRotherham
42.Devonshire & Dorset RegimentsDorchester
43.Cheshire RegimentChester
44.Royal Welch FusiliersCaernarvon
45.Royal Regiment of WalesCardiff
46.Royal Regiment of WalesBrecon
47.Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire RegimentGloucester
48.Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire RegimentSalisbury
49.Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters RegimentWorcester
50.Worcestershire & Wiltshire Foresters RegimentNottingham
51.Staffordshire RegimentLichfield
52.Light InfantryWinchester
53.Light InfantryBodmin
54.Light InfantryShrewsbury
55.Royal Green JacketsWinchester
56.Royal Irish RegimentBallymena, Antrim
57.Royal Irish RegimentArmagh
58.Royal Irish RegimentBelfast
59.Royal Irish RegimentEnniskillen
60.Parachute RegimentAldershot
62.Royal Logistic CorpsDeepcut/Mychett
63.Royal Army Medical CorpsDeepcut/Mychett
64.Royal Army Dental CorpsAldershot
65.Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing CorpsDeepcut/Mychett
66.Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical EngineersArborfield, Reading
67.Army Air CorpsMiddle Wallop
68.Royal Army Chaplains' DepartmentBagshot
69.Adjutant General's CorpsChichester
70.Army Physical Training CorpsAldershot

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The Sevso Hoard

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Sevso Treasure, offered for public auction by Sotheby's in 1990 but impounded in New York prior to the advertised sale, was legally excavated and legally exported from its country of origin; from which country it in fact originated; and whether its advertised auction would have conformed with the code of practice to which members of the UK antiquities trade subscribe.

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): I cannot comment on whether or not the Roman silver (known as the Sevso Hoard) was legally excavated and legally exported from its country of origin, as its country of origin is unknown. Claims by the Lebanon, Hungary and Croatia were rejected by the New York court. I believe Sotheby's acted within the spirit of the code of practice. Prior to the proposed sale, they took great care to check that the items were neither stolen nor illegally exported. They notified 27 countries whose territory was previously in the Roman Empire, informed the academic world of each of those countries, briefed appropriate journalists and verified with the Lebanese Embassy in Switzerland that the export documentation accompanying the silver was genuine.

The St. Thomas a Becket Chasse

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Under which of the Waverley criteria the Secretary of State for National Heritage seeks to prevent the export of the St. Thomas a Becket chasse sold at Sotheby's on 4th July.

Lord Inglewood: The chasse is now being acquired by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Victoria and Albert Museum. However, if an application for an export licence for the chasse had been received, the Secretary of State for National Heritage would have decided whether to follow normal practice and grant a licence or whether to refer the application to an Expert Adviser. The Waverley criteria would only have become relevant if the Secretary of State had decided to refer an application, if one had been made, to the Expert Adviser.

BSE and Scrapie

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there has been demonstrated a causal relationship between scrapie infected feed and BSE by exposing a test herd of cattle under controlled conditions to the infected feed; and if so, what were the results; and, if not, why not.

Lord Lucas: Calves have been fed brain from clinical BSE cases in a number of studies, and the challenged cattle have developed BSE. The experiments used unprocessed brain rather than animal feed as a source of infection but demonstrated quite clearly that cattle can develop BSE by being fed infected material.

Experiments in the USA have shown that inoculation of scrapie infected material into cattle causes clinical signs and lesions that appear not to be identical to those of BSE. There are a large number of different scrapie strains, and those in the USA may not be the same as in the United Kingdom. The

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experiment described does not prove either way whether BSE originated from scrapie or not. There are at least four possible hypotheses:

(a) that BSE originated from a particular strain of scrapie found in British sheep (and possibly not found in the USA) which was particularly well suited to causing disease in cattle once exposure occurred through contaminated feed;

(b) that BSE was caused by a scrapie strain which adapted to cattle;

(c) that BSE is unrelated to scrapie and has been a cattle agent for a long time, occurring at a very low level which either never caused clinical disease of caused clinical disease so rarely that it was not recognised until changes in rendering practices resulted in greater exposure of cattle to the agent in feed.

(d) that BSE arose from a mutant strain of scrapie which infected cattle more readily than most strains--this does not fit the epidemiological data.

An experiment similar to that conducted in the US has not been undertaken in the United Kingdom because it was not judged to be of sufficiently high priority in relation to other research objectives. Although interesting, the result would not have given useful information in relation to the control of the disease.

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