|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has made to the French authorities about the effect of a third Paris airport on Commonwealth war graves; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of how many British and Commonwealth war graves would have to be relocated if the French authorities proceeded with a new airport at Chaulnes; and which military cemeteries are affected. 
Dr. Moonie: The French Government have a good record for handling civil engineering projects on the battlefields of the Western Front with sensitivity. We have no reason to believe that they will handle this current proposal any differently. In the case of the proposed airport at Chaulnes, no firm plans have been agreed and the perimeter of the site is still to be discussed. However, based on the latest proposals which have been published in the French press, the cemeteries that could be affected are as follows, together with the number of British and Commonwealth graves that may be disturbed as a result.
|Cemeteries||Australian||Canadian||New Zealand||South African||United Kingdom||Total|
|Bouchoir New British||6||214||||1||542||763|
|Marcourt French National||||1||||||5||6|
|Warvillers Churchyard Extension||||35||||||13||48|
16 Apr 2002 : Column 819W
Mr. Ingram: Lieutenant General Reith, Chief of Joint Operations, made a routine visit to Cyprus during the period 2528 February. The trip was part of a series of visits to the three Overseas Commands (British Forces Gibraltar, Falkland Islands and Cyprus), of which he has operational command.
Dr. Moonie: As at 12 April there were 415 members of the Territorial Army serving on operations. The locations where the numbers exceeded 50 were Bosnia, where 174 were serving, and Kosovo, where 155 were serving.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received concerning the exclusion of retired officers from eligibility for the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: A number of hon. Members have written on behalf of constituents who are former members of the armed forces but who have been re-employed as civil servants in a Retired Officer grade. In addition, the Ministry of Defence has received letters from individual Retired Officers and the Retired Officers Association has made representations on behalf of their members. I also refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 14 February 2002, Official Report, column 568W, to the hon. Member for Colchester (Bob Russell).
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons Mrs. M. K. Tushingham, a constituent whose details have been supplied, has been told that she may no longer receive her RAF widows pension via an order book at a post office. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 15 April 2002]: Pensions under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme are normally paid monthly in arrears. Some 6,700 pensioners (2 per cent. of the total number of Armed Forces pensioners) in receipt of pensions prior to 1981 have retained rights to payment of
16 Apr 2002 : Column 820W
pensions weekly in advance, historically via a "Payable Order Book" (POB) cashable at post offices. Revised arrangements were introduced from April 2002 to provide the pensioner with a more secure means of payment than the POB system; it is also more cost-effective to the Ministry of Defence and easier to administer.
The Advanced Command and Staff course, which trains 420 students per year.
The Royal Navy Junior Division, which trains 200 students per year.
The Army Junior Division, which trains 420 students per year.
The Royal Air Force Junior Division, which trains 440 students per year.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) who conducts the (a) customer attitude survey, (b) continuous attitude survey and (c) Independent Housing Survey; what questions on housing there were in each of the surveys; if he will place a copy of the most recent of each in the Library; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Moonie: The Customer Attitude Survey conducted by QinetiQ for the Defence Housing Executive (DHE) is a comprehensive survey of attitudes relating to Service Family Accommodation. It is wide-ranging and covers many aspects of housing; copies have been placed in the Library of the House. It records 67 per cent. of
16 Apr 2002 : Column 821W
service families as "content" with the standard of family accommodation. There is no separate "independent housing survey" questionnaire.
Each of the Services undertakes continuous attitude surveys. These are not specifically related to family housing but are intended to measure morale and to understand the concerns and motivations of their personnel across a spectrum of issues, including conditions of service, training and development and accommodation of all kinds. There are no plans to release them into the public domain.
For the RN, the continuous attitude survey responses of August 2001 indicated that some 58 per cent. were either very satisfied or satisfied, and 22 per cent neutral, with the standard of family accommodation provided. For the RAF, the survey for May and August 2001 indicated that 53 per cent. regarded their accommodation as satisfactory or very satisfactory and 31 per cent. as adequate. The corresponding question in the Army's August 2001 survey did not distinguish between family and single accommodation but showed 42 per cent. satisfied or very satisfied.
Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement as to the policy for Return to Mainstream service for personnel in the Special Air Service's and Special Boat Service; and whether he plans to recruit for SAS and SBS other than from serving members of the regular armed forces. 
Mr. Ingram: Non-commissioned personnel who successfully complete United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) selection, and continue to maintain appropriate standards, will normally serve the balance of their careers with UKSF. The careers of regular serving officers will be managed in a way which balances service within and outside the UKSF group, to the mutual benefit of the individual, UKSF and the parent service.
Volunteers for the SBS and SAS, who must have completed two years adult military service, may apply from any part of the regular armed forces, as may reservists serving with one of the UKSF reserve units. Applicants from overseas are also eligible in certain circumstances. There are no plans to expand the recruiting base.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|