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69. Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Norway to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.

107. Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Norway to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.

119. Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Norway to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.


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Mr. Younger : I last met Mr. Holst during the Defence Planning Committee meeting in Brussels on 1 December when a range of subjects of mutual interest were discussed.

57. Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the circumstances in which United Kingdom nuclear weapons may be used against (a) a non-nuclear state and (b) another nuclear nation.

82. Mr. Heffer : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the circumstances in which United Kingdom nuclear weapons may be used against (1) a non-nuclear state and (2) another nuclear nation.

127. Mr. Wall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the circumstances in which United Kingdom nuclear weapons may be used against (a) a non-nuclear state and (b) another nuclear nation.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Members to the answer that I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).

65. Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Denmark to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.

101. Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Denmark to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.

121. Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Defence Minister of Denmark to discuss modernisation of short- range nuclear weapons.

Mr. George Younger : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Dr. Moonie).

106. Mr. Douglas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recent discussions with the United Kingdom's NATO allies on proposals to modernise short-range nuclear weapons.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : My right hon. Friend has frequent meetings with his NATO colleagues, during which a wide range of issues affecting the defence and security of the Alliance are discussed, including the need to modernise short-range nuclear weapons.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

30. Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ; and if he will make a statement.

81. Mr. Gerald Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ; and if he will make a statement.


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86. Mr. Wilshire : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ; and if he will make a statement.

115. Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Younger : I refer my hon. Friends to the answer that I gave earlier to my hon. Friends the Members for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) and for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter).

RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre

31. Mr. John Hunt : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received regarding the proposed transfer of the Royal Air Force officer and aircrew selection centre from Biggin hill to RAF Cranwell ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : My Department has received representations from both the local and departmental (non-industrial) trades union sides whose members are affected by the transfer, from the London borough of Bromley council, from local branches of the Aircrew Association and Royal Marines Association, on behalf of Belgian pilots based at Biggin hill during world war 2, and from members of the public.

Mr. John Hunt : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on whether, following the transfer of the Royal Air Force officer and aircrew selection centre from Biggin hill to RAF Cranwell, suitably qualified personnel will be available in the Cranwell area to undertake the required work.

Mr. Neubert : It is not anticipated that there will be any difficulties recruiting suitably qualified staff in the Cranwell area.

Mr. John Hunt : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will specify the arrangements which he intends to make in order to ensure the retention of the Air Training Corps unit at RAF Biggin hill following the transfer of the officer and aircrew selection centre to RAF Cranwell.

Mr. Neubert : All options available to retain the Air Training Corps unit at RAF Biggin hill will be considered.

Mr. John Hunt : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of the redundancy payments to be made to those civilian personnel at Royal Air Force Biggin hill who will not be moving to RAF Cranwell following the transfer of the Royal Air Force officer and aircrew selection centre from Biggin hill.

Mr. Neubert : Until such time as the intentions of the individual members of the staff are known it is not possible to estimate the likely cost of redundancy payments.

Mr. John Hunt : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what use is currently made of the Royal Air Force officer and aircrew selection centre at Biggin hill for flying aptitude and medical tests by Army and Royal Navy


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personnel ; to what extend such facilities would continue to be used by these service personnel following the transfer of the centre to RAF Cranwell ; and if he anticipates the provision of additional facilities at any other location for these tests.

Mr. Neubert : In addition to its own selection task, the Royal Air Force officers and aircrew selection centre at Biggin hill annually undertakes about 400 aptitude tests and aircrew medical examinations for prospective Army pilots, and flying aptitude tests for about 750 pilot and observer candidates for the Royal Navy. Facilities will continue to be offered to the other services when the centre is transferred to RAF Cranwell.

Procurement Expenditure

33. Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the relative priority in terms of procurement expenditure his Department gives to (a) the British Army of the Rhine and (b) warships for the Royal Navy.

51. Mr. Ted Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the relative priority, in terms of procurement expenditure, his Department gives to (a) the British Army of the Rhine and (b) warships for the Royal Navy.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Members to the answer that I gave earlier today to the hon. Members for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith) and for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths).

112. Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to re-consider procedures for defence procurement expenditure.

Mr. Sainsbury : Our procurement procedures are kept constantly under review. Substantial benefits are being achieved by greater use of competition and by insistence on fixed prices, payments linked to achievement milestones and other incentive measures.

Defence Contractors

34. Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many firms are now on the defence contractors' list ; how many of these are small firms ; and what were the comparable figures for 1986.

Mr. Sainsbury : The number of companies currently on the defence contractors list is approximately 9,800. The comparable figure for 1986 was some 8,100. Information on the number of small firms within these figures is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

94. Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy on the transfer to foreign ownership of those parts of companies engaged in activities affecting national security.

Mr. Sainsbury : Changes in the ownership of a defence contractor are considered by the Department on a case-by-case basis. Part of the MOD's consideration includes national security issues. The MOD is able to make certain specific provisions in respect of United Kingdom companies in foreign ownership where it is necessary to restrict access to classified equipment or information.


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Iraq

35. Mr. Turner : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the defence export sales organisation has made of the potential value of current Iraqi requirements for armaments.

36. Mr. Stott : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the defence export sales organisation has made of the potential value of current Iraqi requirements for armaments.

89. Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the defence export sales organisation has made of the potential value of current Iraqi requirements for armaments.

99. Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the defence export sales organisation has made of the potential value of current Iraqi requirements for armaments.

Mr. Sainsbury : We have not judged it appropriate in the present circumstances to carry out such an assessment. We continue to keep the guidelines on the export of defence equipment to Iran and Iraq, announced in the House by my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary on 29 October 1985 Vol. 84, column 454, under constant review in the light of the ceasefire, and developments in the peace negotiations.

United States (Members' Visits)

37. Mr. Fishburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what briefing is given by his Department to right hon. and hon. Members who visit the United States of America.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : My right hon. Friend would be happy to consider any request for briefing from hon. or right hon. Members undertaking visits to the United States of America.

European Fighter Aircraft

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the policy of the West German Government towards the procurement of radar for the European fighter aircraft.

38. Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the procurement policy of the West German Government in connection with radar for the European fighter aircraft.

Mr. Sainsbury : We are in frequent contact with the West German Government on all aspects of the European fighter aircraft programme, including the selection of the radar. It remains the objective of the four participating Governments to achieve maximum commonality.

126. Mr. Ronnie Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent decisions he has made in respect of procurement of a radar system for the European fighter aircraft.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave earlier today to the hon. Members for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) and for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies).

Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last discussed the European fighter aircraft project with his West German counterpart ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Sainsbury : I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave the hon. Member on 7 February at column 146.

Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any plans for development of joint European defence procurement, especially in the field of the next generation of fighter aircraft.

Mr. Sainsbury : In the interest of achieving value for money and improved interoperability, the United Kingdom actively promotes co- operation on European defence procurement, both with other countries on a bilateral basis and through the independent European programme group, which we currently chair. The European fighter aircraft project is an excellent example of the collaborative programmes in which we are involved.

Defence Products Company (Takeover)

39. Mr. Bendall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy in relation to a business with defence products which it is currently not allowed, for security reasons, to sell to West Germany being taken over by a West German company.

Mr. Sainsbury : Changes in the ownership of a defence contractor are considered by the Department on a case-by-case basis. Part of the MOD's consideration includes national security issues. The MOD is able to make certain specific provisions in respect of United Kingdom companies in foreign ownership where it is necessary to restrict access to classified equipment or information.

Unreliable Equipment

40. Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the annual cost to his Department of unreliable weapons, aircraft and military equipment.

90. Mr. Maxton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the annual cost to his Department of unreliable weapons, aircraft and military equipment.

102. Mr. Haynes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the annual cost to his Department of unreliable weapons, aircraft and military equipment.

Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Members to the answer that I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell).

Arms Control

41. Mr. Conway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made by his Department in formulating a United Kingdom contribution to NATO's comprehensive concept on arms control.

46. Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made by NATO Defence Ministers in discussions on the overall concept ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The task of producing a report on the comprehensive concept of arms control and disarmament falls to the North Atlantic Council in


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permanent session. Both the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have contributed fully to this exercise throughout. When Alliance Foreign Ministers met in Brussels on 8-9 December 1988, they received a written report on the further development of the comprehensive concept. They reviewed the state of work, welcomed the progress achieved to date, and called for a complete record by the time of their next meeting later this year.

Heliborne Forces

42. Mr. Wood : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of NATO's ability to match the Warsaw pact threat from heliborne forces.

62. Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ability of NATO to match the Warsaw pact threat from heliborne forces.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer my hon. Friends to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Carrington) on 3 March at column 356 .

Estimates

43. Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the next "Statement on the Defence Estimates" will be published.

108. Mr. Buckley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the next "Statement on the Defence Estimates" will be published.

111. Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the next "Statement on the Defence Estimates" will be published.

128. Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the next "Statement on the Defence Estimates" will be published.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : In due course.

Obsolete Nuclear Warheads

44. Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many obsolete nuclear warheads have been scrapped by Her Majesty's Government as a consequence of the NATO Montebello agreement.

61. Mr. James Lamond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many obsolete nuclear warheads have been scrapped by Her Majesty's Government as a consequence of the NATO Montebello agreement.

105. Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many obsolete nuclear warheads have been scrapped by Her Majesty's Government as a consequence of the NATO Montebello agreement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Members to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) on 3 March at column 357 .

Mine Warfare

Mr. Duffy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of the mine warfare modernisation programme ; and when he expects to place orders for the next four vessels of the SRMH type.


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Mr. Sainsbury : Further orders for single-role minehunters are planned, but no decisions have yet been taken on the size and timing of orders. The Government have plans to maintain the United Kingdom's defensive mining capability, which is currently represented by the Royal Navy's ground mine. An update programme for these mines is in progress.

Disarmament

48. Mr. David Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received advocating a defence policy of unilateral, bilateral and multilateral disarmament.

100. Mr. Janman : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received advocating a defence policy of unilateral, bilateral and multilateral disarmament.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Ministry of Defence has received 32 letters and 18 postcards regarding general disarmament matters since last year's summer recess.

Battlefield Nuclear Weapons

49. Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training is given to United Kingdom armed forces to fight on a battlefield upon which nuclear weapons are used.

136. Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training is given to United Kingdom armed forces to fight on a battlefield upon which nuclear weapons are used.

86. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training is given to United Kingdom armed forces to fight on a battlefield upon which nuclear weapons are used.

Mr. McAvoy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training is given to the United Kingdom armed forces to fight on a battlefield upon which nuclear weapons are used.

Mr. Neubert : The United Kingdom armed forces are trained to fight in a variety of battlefield scenarios.

ading Western European Union 50. Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he next intends to meet the secretary general of the Western European Union ; and if he will make a statement.

96. Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he next intends meeting the Secretary General of the Western European Union ; and what will be discussed.

118. Mr. Brandon-Bravo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he next intends to meet the Secretary General of the Western European Union ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : My right hon. Friend next intends to meet the Secretary-General of the Western European Union on the occasion of the ministerial Council of the Western European Union in April 1989. They will discuss a number of issues of mutual interest.


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Reciprocal Unilateralism

52. Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received advocating a defence policy of reciprocal unilateralism.

67. Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received advocating a defence policy of reciprocal unilateralism.

84. Mr. Gwilym Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received urging him to adopt a defence policy of reciprocal unilateralism.


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