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Mr. Neubert : The results of the trials to assess the possibility of using a Skyguard system to monitor the heights of low-flying aircraft are still under consideration. I hope to be able to announce our conclusions shortly.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans exist to deploy mobile threat simulator equipment in low-flying areas during exercises, to provide electronic warfare training to aircrews.
Mr. Neubert : A programme is currently underway to construct eight remote sites within Spadeadam range airspace to which mobile threat simulators could routinely be deployed. In addition to this, mobile threat simulators may be used on a limited basis elsewhere in the country in support of a RAF sponsored exercise.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West, 10 January, Official Report, column 539, if he will list those civil servants by grade and division who took up the invitations from Imperial college, London, to attend the "Ways Out of the Arms Race" scientists conference symposium on 2 -4 December 1988.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution in terms of research finances and personnel has been made by his Department's arms control unit into the outstanding verification problems, within the disarmament regimes of (a) chemical, biological or toxic warfare agents, (b) cruise missiles, (c) nuclear warhead testing, (d) the safeguarding of military grade nuclear materials from misuse and (e) ballistic missile exports and testing.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The defence arms control unit, in consultation with a number of other divisions in the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, keeps all aspects of arms control, including
Column 655verification, under review. The Department does not, however, record the time spent by personnel on individual arms control issues in the way that the hon. Member requests. Although no research finance is currently devoted specifically to arms control verification by the Department, we do maintain close contact with academics both in the United Kingdom and internationally who are engaged on research in this field.
Mr. Sainsbury : Small quantities of radioactive waste from British military bases abroad have been returned to the United Kingdom on an ad hoc basis. Most of the consignments have been sent by sea. Some minor items containing very small quantities of radioactive material, for example, instruments luminised with radium, may have been moved by air, but records of such movements, if any, are not held centrally, and therefore the question could be answered only at
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if there are any stocks held at any Ministry of Defence establishment in the United Kingdom or elsewhere of (a) diphenylaminechloroasine, or phenarsazine chloride (Adamsite), (b) phosgene, (c)
dichlororethyl sulphide, (d) hydrocynanic acid, (e)
chlorovinyldichloroarsine and (f) diphenylcyanoarsine.
Mr. Sainsbury : The Ministry of Defence holds small experimental quantities of agents solely for research into protective measures for personnel against chemical and biological attack. These include substances of the type identified in the question. The United Kingdom abandoned its offensive capability in chemical warfare in the late 1950s and does not hold stocks of agents for offensive purposes.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham), Official Report, 10 January, column 679, if he will give the locations, dates and methods of destruction of the United Kingdom chemical weapons stockpile, to which he made reference.
Mr. Sainsbury : The United Kingdom abandoned its offensive capability in chemical warfare in the late 1950s. United Kingdom chemical weapons were disposed of over a lengthy period and it would require disproportionate effort to research old records for precise locations, dates and methods. However, I can confirm that all known stocks were disposed of, although from time to time there are discoveries of buried items dating back to the two world wars, which are taken to the chemical defence establishment at Porton Down for safe disposal.
Mr. Younger : Any parliamentary question which is likely to involve disproportionate expenditure--currently £250--is referred to the responsible Minister before significant resources are committed. It is not a rigid limit : it is for the Minister concerned to decide in each case whether there are exceptional circumstances to justify answering a question which would cost more than £250.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when members of the scientific section of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Army Institute of Science and Technology visited this country to obtain details of production of chemical or biological warfare agents.
Mr. Sainsbury : We have been unable to find any record of a visit which might correspond to the one described by the hon. Member. In any event, the United Kingdom does not provide chemical or biological warfare agents.
Mr. Neubert : Following a number of complaints about the incident to both RAF Brawdy and the Ministry of Defence by residents of Killay, Newton and Langland during the afternoon of Friday 20 January, a full investigation was commissioned to establish what military aircraft was involved and the circumstances. Such investigations are always thorough and may take some time to complete, but I shall write to the right hon. Member once the results are available.
(2) what responsibility the tactical booking cell at RAF West Drayton has for the control of military low-level flying in each of the low flying areas 1A, 1B, 3, 9, 13, 19, 20, (T) and Yeovilton.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 16 December 1988] : The tactical booking cell at RAF West Drayton manages the day-to-day use of the United Kingdom low-flying system and air weapons ranges, provides warnings and compiles statistics. The cell is also responsible for dedicated user low- flying areas when their co-ordinating authorities are closed. The established staff level of the cell is 20 Royal Air Force personnel.