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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how he ensures, in the absence of RAF personnel at RAF Feltwell, that the activities undertaken at the base are consistent with the UK national interest. 
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long he expects the ban on fishing extending across Luce Bay in Wigtownshire to remain in place due to unrecovered ordnance left by the RAF after testing procedures. 
Dr. Moonie: The area of Luce Bay currently closed to fishing covers approximately 2 square miles. Officials are working with the appropriate authorities to have navigation buoys put in place to mark clearly an area of 0.103 square miles which will be permanently closed to fishing. The work to place the buoys is expected to be completed shortly.
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Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to agree compensation provisions for fishermen excluded by MOD restriction orders from fishing grounds in Luce Bay, Wigtownshire. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has no special plans to agree compensation provisions for fishermen excluded from the fishing grounds in Luce Bay, Wigtownshire. When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation, we do so.
One claim for compensation has been received from a fisherman alleging a loss of earnings caused by his exclusion from fishing grounds in Luce Bay. On investigation, it was determined that in excluding this individual from the area for reasons of safety, the range authorities were acting within their legal rights as laid down in the relevant local bye-laws. As a result, liability was denied and no compensation has been paid.
Dr. Moonie: The facilities at Dundrennan are used primarily for infantry training and also offer facilities for ammunition testing. In terms of infantry training, the facilities represent a valuable resource and we wish to maximise their utility. Starting in June next year, a programme of building will commence which will provide training accommodation with supporting infrastructure to house up to 500 personnel and an infantry field firing range complex. There are no plans to develop the ammunition testing facility.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to reduce the size of the (a) regular and (b) Territorial Army beyond the levels envisaged in the Strategic Defence Review. 
Mr. Ingram: Decisions were taken in the Strategic Defence Review about the size and structure of the Army, which included the creation of a sixth deployable brigade and a second line of communication. It is intended to man the Army to achieve this, and it will require an increase in its strength from current levels. The extent of the increase will depend in part on the outcome of on-going studies into the best ways of delivering the military capability required of the Army.
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Dr. Moonie: The most undermanned unit in the Territorial Army (TA) is 203 Field Hospital Royal Army Medical Corps (Volunteers). The actual strength of this regiment is currently 59 per cent. of its establishment strength. As the hon. Member may know, there is a general shortfall in numbers in the Army Medical Services (TA) and a recruiting campaign is in place to address this. Numbers are beginning to increase and I expect this trend to continue.
Dr. Moonie: Figures are not available for the period before April 1998. Since that date, some £7 million in receipts has been achieved from the sale of sites used primarily by the Territorial Army, in addition to a receipt in excess of £66 million for the Duke of York's HQ in London. A number of disposals of such sites are still in progress.
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Mr. Ingram: There have been two fatal accidents on Salisbury Plain training area since 1 January 2000. Private Christopher France died in an accident on 6 April 2000 after being struck by a Pinzgauer vehicle, and Lieutenant Paul Syred and Corporal Michael Paterson were killed in July this year when the Challenger 2 tank in which they were travelling overturned. The police and ambulance services arrived promptly at the scenes of both incidents.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many compensation applications have been received for former PoWs held by the Japanese under his Department's new scheme; how many have been approved; how many have been rejected; and how many have been upheld after appeal. 
Dr. Moonie: As at 9 October 2001, a total of 27,628 claims have been received for payments under the ex-gratia scheme. 22,437 payments have been made, 3,761 claims have been rejected. As the payments are made on an ex-gratia basis, there is no formal right of appeal against rejection. However, the War Pensions Agency will reconsider any claim on receipt of further representations.
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