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Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on research contracts, broken down by region, for the most recent financial year for which figures are available. 
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Dr. Moonie [holding answer 8 February 2001]: Net expenditure outturn for my Department's major customers' research budgets in the Appropriation Accounts for financial year 1999-2000, published on 24 January, was £457.812 million. This sum includes research work placed with DERA but excludes technology demonstrator programmes, and loans and grants to DERA. It is not possible to provide a regional breakdown of research expenditure from available data.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many films made by the Chemical Defence and Biological Establishment, Porton Down have been transferred to the Imperial War Museum since 1990; if he will place in the Library a list of the titles of each such film; what progress is being made in transferring further films from Porton Down to the Imperial War Museum; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: It is believed that at least 70 films have been transferred to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) from the Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of DERA at Porton Down since 1990. Responsibility for producing a catalogue of acquisitions rests with the IWM. The Ministry of Defence continues to maintain dialogue with the IWM and staff at the Public Record Office and Porton Down about the suitability of other films for permanent preservation.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff since 21 November 2000 have been taken on at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down to deal with issues relating to Porton Down volunteers who took part in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment. 
Dr. Moonie: None. Since 21 November 2000, 12 members of staff have been re-assigned from other duties at the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down, to deal with issues relating to the Porton Down Volunteer Programme on a full or part-time basis.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if service volunteers who took part in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down are entitled to receive a copy of technical reports which describe the experiments in which they participated. 
Dr. Moonie: The Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of DERA at Porton Down respond to all inquiries from ex-Porton Down volunteers and these responses include an invitation to visit Porton Down to view the original record books and discuss any details with current members of staff.
Volunteers who visit CBD are given copies of records that refer to them personally and copies of other documentation, including technical reports, where they add relevant information to that already located in the volunteer records books. This is decided on a case-to- case basis.
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the technical reports which were compiled by the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down to record the results of an experiment in 1989 in which Service personnel were exposed to Sarin nerve gas. 
Dr. Moonie: The Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of DERA at Porton Down has published one technical report on the research undertaken with Sarin in 1989 which involved Service volunteers. This is Technical Paper No. 571 entitled "The Effects on the Eye of Prolonged Exposure to a Low Concentration of GB Vapour". I will make arrangements for a copy of this publication to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many films made by the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Porton Down are held in the archives of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Porton Down; and if he will place in the Library a list of the titles and dates of each film which is currently held in these archives. 
Dr. Moonie: The Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment archives at Porton Down contain references to over 1,200 films. The titles have not been catalogued and in many cases are not very informative. It would require disproportionate cost to produce a meaningful list.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many appointments he has made since May 1997 in accordance with the Nolan criteria; how many appointees were aged over 60 years at the time of appointment; and how many declared a political affiliation for (a) the Conservative party, (b) the Labour party and (c) the Liberal Democrats. 
Dr. Moonie: Since May 1997 there have been 361 public appointments to non-departmental public bodies sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, made in accordance with the Nolan criteria under guidelines issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Of these, 206 were re-appointments of individuals already serving on the relevant body.
Of the 361, 93 were aged over 60, 12 declared a political affiliation for the Conservative party, three for the Labour party and none for the Liberal Democrats at the time of appointment and/or re-appointment.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) RAF pilots and aircrew, (b) Army flying personnel and (c) Royal Naval pilots and personnel have suffered from (i) deep vein thrombosis and (ii) pulmonary embolisms in the last five years; and how many were known by his Department to have suffered within 14 days of flying activities. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 29 January 2001]: Central records maintained by my Department do not identify illness where it has not resulted in medical downgrading for a significant period. They may, therefore, not record cases of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms. In fact, these records show one case of a pulmonary embolism from 1999. The individual
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concerned was also suffering from a serious illness, which may have been the cause of the pulmonary embolism. Neither the Royal Navy nor the RAF maintain additional collated records, and further information on their personnel could be obtained only by checking medical records individually. A collated Army record is, however, maintained. This shows two Army aircrew who have suffered deep vein thrombosis within the last five years, one of whom also suffered a pulmonary embolism. Neither had been engaged in military flying duties within the previous 14 days, but both had been passengers on a commercial aircraft within that period.
Ms Stuart [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The Government's response to the report of the Meat Inspection Charges Task Force was published in the Rural White Paper on 28 November 2000 when, inter alia, we announced the provision of new, additional aid (worth £8.7 million in 2001-02) to help secure the future of small and medium-sized abattoirs.
As a result of this additional funding the Food Standards Agency was able to implement, from 2 April 2001, the recommendations of the Task Force to base meat inspection charges on the standard headage charges laid down in the EU Charges Directive or on actual inspection costs where these are lower.
Mr. Denham: Officials in the Department meet the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association regularly to discuss these matters. Officials also meet other primary care organisations regularly to discuss wider primary care issues.
Mr. Denham: We fund research into vision-related conditions through the Medical Research Council. They are currently funding several major research projects into macular degeneration, including a clinical trial at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast: "Radiotherapy in the treatment of subfoveal neovascular membranes (CNVM) in age-related macular degeneration of the eye" for which a grant was provided of £61,571. They have also provided a £1.5 million grant to look at "Genetic Susceptibility to Age Related Macular Degeneration."
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degeneration. This entails improving co-ordination between the hospital eye service where patients are diagnosed, community opticians who are capable of supplying low vision aids, social services departments who can help with aids to independent living and mobility, and voluntary organisations who can provide talking books, guide dogs. Nothing can do more to improve the quality of life for people with visual handicaps than prompt, effective collaboration between these agencies.
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