Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

16 Jul 1999 : Column WA71

Written Answers

Friday, 16th July 1999.

Business Appointments Advisory Committee

Lord Clarke of Hampstead asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who are the members of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments; and whether they will make a statement.[HL3685]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): Sadly, Lord Gillmore of Thamesfield, who became chairman of the Committee in February, died shortly after taking up his appointment.

The noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew, has agreed to become the new chairman, and the Government intend to appoint shortly a new member of the committee to fill the vacancy left by Lord Gillmore.

The current membership of the committee is as follows:

    The Rt Hon Lord Mayhew of Twysden QC (Chairman)

    Sir John Blelloch KCB (Vice-chairman)

    The Rt Hon Lord Shore of Stepney

    The Rt Hon Baroness Williams of Crosby

    Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton GBE KCB FEng FIEE

    Sir Denys Henderson

    Sir Bryan Nicholson.

All the appointments are unpaid, and the Government are grateful to the members for the time they give.

Legal Aid in Cases of Public Importance

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Chancellor on 28 June (WA 6), upon how many occasions during the past three years the Lord Chancellor has exercised the power to make a direction under section 4(4)(a) of the Legal Aid Act 1988 to give the Legal Aid Board the power to grant representation under section 4(2)(b) of that Act for proceedings that are ordinarily outside the scope of legal aid; and what were the exceptional circumstances giving rise to the exercise of that power.[HL3439]

Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): In the past three years neither I nor my predecessor has made any directions relating to individual proceedings.

16 Jul 1999 : Column WA72

Royal Courts of Justice: Claims Form

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consulted the public in England and Wales before deciding to abolish the writ and replace it with a "claims form" for proceedings in the Royal Courts of Justice; and, if so, what were the results of the consultative process.[HL3440]

The Lord Chancellor: The consultation document, A Working Paper, Access to Justice--Judicial Case Management, was published by my department in July 1997. It proposed that all claims should be issued using a single claim form. The record of responses show only one out of 92 respondents wished to retain the use of the word "writ".

Household Division: Soldiers from Ethnic Minorities

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many soldiers from ethnic minorities are now serving in each regiment of the Household Division.[HL3352]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): As at 1 June 1999, a total of 26 cap-badged soldiers serving in the Household Division identified themselves as being from an ethnic minority. A further 15 soldiers from ethnic minorities are currently undergoing training. A breakdown by individual regiment is given in the table below:

RegimentEthnic minority personnel
Household Cavalry
Life Guards1
RHG/D (Blues and Royals)1
Foot Guards(1)1
Grenadier Guards4
Coldstream Guards3
Scots Guards4
Irish Guards9
Welsh Guards3


(1) The record of service does not yet reflect the regiment to which this individual will be assigned.

(2) There are at present two officers in the Household Division whose ethnic origin is recorded as non-white. A further five trained officers and six soldiers have not yet declared their ethnic origin.

The Army, together with its sister services, is committed to reflect the rich ethnic composition of our society. The proportion of intake to the services in 1998-99 which was from the ethnic minorities was

1.8 per cent., a significant and welcome improvement of 40 per cent. upon the previous year. A challenging recruitment goal of 3 per cent. has been set for the current year, which each service is working hard to achieve.

16 Jul 1999 : Column WA73

Territorial Army Personnel Serving Abroad

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many members of the Territorial Army are currently in post and serving with HM Armed Forces in (a) the Falklands; (b) Bosnia; and (c) the Yugoslavian provinces; what is the average length of their tours; and what is their position if they are away from their civilian jobs for more than 12 months.[HL3495]

Lord Gilbert: There are currently no mobilised TA serving in the Falklands. Three hundred and fifty-five mobilised TA personnel are serving in Bosnia and 38 mobilised TA personnel are serving in Kosovo and Macedonia. The average tour length for mobilised TA personnel is seven and a half months. There are some 17 members of the TA on full-time reserve service in Bosnia and some eight in Kosovo and Macedonia.

Under the conditions of the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985, employers have a legal obligation to reinstate mobilised TA members on completion of their service on terms and conditions identical to those which would have applied had they not been called out, regardless of the length of time that they have been mobilised. Those on full-time reserve service are not covered by the terms of the Reserve Forces Act and there is, therefore, no legal obligation for their employers to reinstate them on completion of their service.

Armed Forces: Membership of Organisations of a Secretive Nature

Lord Burnham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of a statement announced by the Government in standing station orders and shortly to be issued as a Defence Council Instruction, what "organisations of a secretive nature" other than Freemasonry are listed as among those for which "serving personnel should not encourage or promote membership".[HL3486]

Lord Gilbert: There is no intention or policy to preclude service personnel from membership of any lawful and benevolent organisation. Membership of such organisations per se is a matter for the individuals concerned, but membership should not be promoted or encouraged. It is, therefore, not our intention to collate a list of organisations which are similar to the Freemasons. It would be more appropriate to examine each case on its merits should the need arise.

Kosovo: Temporary Field Accommodation for Troops

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many "Corimec" or equivalent 20-foot accommodation and ablution units will be available for use in Kosovo on Operation Agricola before the winter sets in; and[HL3444]

16 Jul 1999 : Column WA74

    How many "Corimec" or equivalent 20-foot accommodation and ablution units are on order for use in Kosovo on Operation Agricola; and[HL3445]

    What is the budget for "Corimec" or equivalent 20-foot accommodation and ablution units for use in Kosovo on Operation Agricola.[HL3446]

Lord Gilbert: Options are currently under consideration to procure temporary field accommodation for troops deployed to Kosovo for extended periods. These options cover a mix of equipments and utilities, including hard wall shelters and ablutions. Decisions on quantities, associated costs and delivery schedules for this procurement have not yet been taken.

Territorial Army: Non-regular Permanent Staff Redundancies

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the non-regular permanent staff of the Territorial Army being made redundant under the Strategic Defence Review are prohibited for being considered for employment as civilians when the duties involved would be no different.[HL3499]

Lord Gilbert: As part of the restructuring of the Territorial Army, financial systems administrator posts, currently carried out by non-regular permanent staff, are being civilianised at executive officer level. As non-regular permanent staff are not civil servants, they cannot apply for internal civil service job vacancies. We are currently considering initiating external recruitment for these posts. Should this change be decided on, members of the non-regular permanent staff would be welcome to apply, provided they met the direct entry qualifications for the executive officer grade.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the estimate of the average redundancy payment to non-regular permanent staff of the Territorial Army who are being made redundant under the Strategic Defence Review.[HL3500]

Lord Gilbert: Figures on which to calculate an estimated average redundancy payment to members of the non-regular permanent staff (NRPS) of the Territorial Army will not be available until the completion of the redundancy exercise in October this year. Redundancy payments will be determined individually and will be calculated on the basis of length of NRPS service, rank at the time of discharge and rate of pay.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page