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27 Oct 2000 : Column WA61

Written Answers

Friday, 27th October 2000.

Uganda and Sudan: Education Assistance

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assistance they have provided since 1997 for primary and secondary education in (a) Uganda, (b) Northern Sudan and (c) Southern Sudan.[HL4084]

Baroness Amos: Since 1997 Her Majesty's Government has provided assistance worth £40 million for primary and secondary education in Uganda. This assistance has been in the form of a national In-Service Secondary Teacher Education Project; support for Non-Formal Basic Education initiatives in Mubende District; support for a Female Adult Literacy project in Arua District; and technical co-operation and budget support for a national sector wide programme in education, with a particular emphasis on supporting the Government of Uganda's efforts to implement its policy of Universal Primary Education.

We have not provided any assistance for primary education in Sudan since bilateral aid was suspended in 1991.

Sudan: Precursor Chemical Agents

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will give an assurance that the export to Sudan of chemical agents known to be precursors for the manufacture of chemical agents such as mustard gas does not contravene United Kingdom or international arms control policies or legislation.[HL4217]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The export of precursors of toxic chemicals, such as triethanolamine and sodium sulphide, is subject to control by being listed in the Australia Group Chemical Weapons precursor list. Both chemicals are listed because triethanolamine may be used as a precursor in the manufacture of nitrogen mustard, and sodium sulphide may be used as a precursor in the manufacture of sulphur mustard. However, both chemicals also have many commercial uses.

The export of such chemicals would not therefore be allowed unless under the authority of a valid export licence. All applications for an individual export licence are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the criteria announced in the other place by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary on 27 July 1997 (Official Report, col. 26-29), and since June 1998 against the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.

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Aviation Fuel: Price

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average price of aircraft fuel in September.[HL4129]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The provisional average price of aviation kerosene fuel in September 2000 was 18.04 p/litre. Source: DTI.

Road Transport Fuels: Prices

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average price of fuel for motor transport in September.[HL4130]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Average prices of road transport fuels for September 2000 1 were as follows:

Fuel GradePrice
Lead Replacement Petrol85.74 p/litre
Premium Unleaded Petrol (95 RON)80.04 p/litre
Super Unleaded Petrol87.87 p/litre(2)
Diesel82.34 p/litre

(1) Estimates are generally representative of prices paid (including taxes) at the pump on or about the 15th of the month based on information provided by the oil companies and from super/hypermarket chains.

(2) Latest price available is for August.

Source: DTI.


GM Crops: Separation Distances

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether separation distances of 200 metres are adequate between genetically modified maize and other crops; if so, why; and whether they will ask the National Pollen Research Unit and the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment to examine these matters in greater depth than they had by the end of 1999.[HL4263]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Earlier this year the Government launched a review of GM crop separation distances and has published a scientific report and the responses to a public consultation on the subject. These findings, which include input from both ACRE and the National Pollen Research Unit, have been deposited in the House Library. The Government are now considering whether any changes would be appropriate to the separation distances currently applied, including in respect of maize.

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House of Lords Management Structure

Lord Desai asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What, if any, decision the steering group appointed to oversee the appointment of a management consultant has reached.[HL4407]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The steering group has met and has requested the Clerk of the Parliaments to prepare internally proposals for improving the management structure, the structure for taking decisions about the services of the House and other domestic matters, including the impact on the domestic committee structure. These proposals will be considered in due course by the steering group.

Army Base Repair Organisation Workshop, Sennybridge

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the role and mission of the Army Base Repair Organisation's workshop at Sennybridge; and whether in particular it is tasked to support the Territorial Army.[HL4162]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The role of the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) workshop at Sennybridge, Powys, is to provide engineering support to military units in and around Sennybridge Camp and the Sennybridge Training area. The service consists of equipment recovery (from the Training Area), repair and serving. This is provided either through in-house repair facilities (including other ABRO sites, in which case Sennybridge acts as an Equipment Collection Centre) or nominated contractors. The service is provided to Regular and Territorial Army units alike. The site shares the ABRO mission which is "To provide the UK Armed Services with a comprehensive and effective engineering support service--through close and responsive working relationships--at best value to the taxpayer".

Army Base Repair Organisation Workshops: Sick Leave

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the approximate number of days taken as sick leave per employee per year at the Army Base Repair Organisation Workshops at--(a) Sennybridge; (b) Colchester; and (c) Bovingdon.[HL4229]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The approximate number of days taken as sick leave per employee per year at the Army Base Repair

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Organisation workshops at Sennybridge, Colchester and Bovington is currently as follows:


    (a) Sennybridge: 8.7 days


    (b) Colchester: 12.47 days


    (c) Bovington: 8.4 days

The figures include all absences incurred as a result of ordinary sickness (including non-working days where sick absence straddles weekends), those incurred as a direct result of industrial injuries and those employees on long-term sickness due to serious illness/hospital admissions.

Army Retirement Statistics

Lord Burnham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many majors and captains, and how many warrant officers class I and II and sergeants, have left the army in the current year; and what percentage these figures are of establishment.[HL4200]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As at 1 September 2000, the total number of majors, captains, warrrant officers Class I and II, staff sergeants and sergeants who have left the Army, for all reasons, since the beginning of the current financial year (April 2000) is 1,155. Shown as a percentage of the currently assessed post SDR requirement for each rank, the figures are:

RankNo.Percentage
Major1453.9%
Captain1384.1%
Warrant Officer Class I13910.2%
Warrant Officer Class II2355.1%
Staff Sergeant2043.6%
Sergeant2942.6%

The Duke of York's Headquarters

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 29 September (WA 199), what are their current plans with regard to the Duke of York's Headquarters, which was to be disposed of as part of the Strategic Defence Review.[HL4225]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Duke of York's Headquarters was sold to Cadogan Estates earlier this year. All responsibility for the site, with the exception of an enclave retained under lease for use by the Ministry of Defence, now rests with the new owner. The size of the enclave and how long it will be retained is being kept under continuous review.

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Territorial Army: Strength

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 29 September (WA 199), what was the approximate strength of the Territorial Army immediately before the implementation of the Strategic Defence Review; and[HL4227]

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    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 29 September (WA 199), what are the current establishment and strength of the Territorial Army.[HL4228]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The strength of the Territorial Army immediately before the implementation of the Strategic Defence Review was 52,311. The latest available official figures give the strength of the Territorial Army as 40,667 against the new establishment of 41,204.



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