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62. Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the cost of support provided by his Department to equestrian activities, excluding those associated with parades.
Mr. Neubert : Public funds are used only to support official equestrian activities. However support costs, such as training, stabling and veterinary services, are an integral part of the expenditure on horses participating in ceremonial and public duties.
Mr. Sainsbury : This Government have ordered five nuclear powered fleet submarines, of which three have already been accepted into service, and four of the new Upholder class of conventional submarines. We envisage further orders for both nuclear and conventional powered submarines, but no decisions have yet been taken.
Mr. Sainsbury : It is impractical to list all individuals with whom my Department has had discussions concerning the British nuclear tests within the last year except at disproportionate cost. However, I can confirm that a number of organisations have been consulted during the normal course of business. These include the National Radiological Protection board (NRPB), the Imperial Cancer Research fund (ICRF), the Medical Research council (MRC), the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National Health Service central register, the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS), the Defence
Column 403Radiological Protection service (DRPS) together with a number of overseas individuals representing United States and Australian authorities and organisations. We have also received representations from a number of individuals, including right hon. and hon. Members.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Exercise Wintex-Cimex is a NATO-wide command post-exercise conducted by Alliance members. Its objective is to test command, control and consultation plans and procedures and to exercise the appropriate crisis management machinery which would be used in the defence of NATO countries in times of international tension and war, including a nuclear phase. Details of the scenario and the precise involvement of individual participants are classified.
67. Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the consequences for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of adopting a policy of troop, tank and artillery-free corridors.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : This Government are against the adoption of nuclear free zones in Western Europe, where we believe they would not increase but reduce security and stability. The territory of a zone would still be under threat from weapons outside the zone but targeted on it. Moreover, the mobility of many ground-launched and air-delivered nuclear weapons means that they could be rapidly deployed back into a nuclear-free zone at a time of tension, thus heightening rather than reducing the risk of war.
Mr. Neubert : It remains our intention to dispose of Horseshoe barracks on the open market, once existing facilities have been reprovided elsewhere. We have retained independent consultants to advise on the development potential of the site and we await their definitive recommendations.
80. Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the latest information available to his Department on the terms of the recent judgment in the Australian courts regarding compensation for nuclear test veterans ; and what are the implications for his policy on British nuclear test veterans.
Mr. Sainsbury : My Department has not yet received a copy of the judgment and until we have had an opportunity to study its content, we will not be able to say what implications, if any, there are for the British nuclear test veterans.
89. Mr. Ted Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce new compensation arrangements for British ex- servicemen who have suffered radiation ailments arising from their duties.
81. Mr. Cyril D. Townsend : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regular service men in (a) Greater London and (b) Windsor are required on an average day to carry out ceremonial duties as sentries ; and how many such sentries are posted in each location.
Mr. Neubert : The number of regular service men required on an average day to carry out ceremonial duties as sentries in London and Windsor depends on whether or not Her Majesty the Queen is in residence. Three service men are required to man each post on a 24 hour basis. The numbers at each location are :
h |Her Majesty the Queen in |Her Majesty the Queen out |residence |of residence -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buckingham Palace |15 service men to |9 service men to |man 5 posts |man 3 posts St. James Palace |15 service men to |9 service men to |man 5 posts |man 3 posts Tower of London 6 service men to man 2 posts Windsor Castle |21 service men to |15 service men to |man 7 posts |man 5 posts
Ceremonial sentry duties are mainly undertaken by the Army, but the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force also provide personnel.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many miles on average type 42 destroyers have travelled over the past 10 years ; how many they were designed to travel and over what period ; and what steps he is taking to ensure that they are capable of operating for their full service lives.
Mr. Sainsbury : Type 42 destroyers have travelled approximately 31, 000 nautical miles per ship per year over the last 10 years. Mileage is not used as a design and operating criterion ; ship life is measured in years and experience has shown this to be a good criterion, which takes account of the variety of factors which affect life such as sea states, operational conditions and ship speed. A refitting and maintenance cycle is in operation which ensures that the ships will be fully capable throughout their service life.
Mr. Sainsbury : The acceptance trials of the vessel to replace the type 42 destroyer are expected to take a similar amount of time to those for earlier classes of ships of a similar technical complexity.
Mr. Sainsbury : The Government are continuing to participate in the NFR 90 project, which could eventually meet the Royal Navy's requirement for an anti-air warfare escort to replace the type 42 destroyers.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Royal Navy will be entirely reliant upon the Sea Wolf system for air defence when the Sea Dart system is withdrawn from service ; and how area defence will be provided.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likelihood of the Sea Dart system becoming obsolete before the end of the service lives of the type 42 destroyers that carry it.
Mr. Sainsbury : As a result of assessments already undertaken, action is in hand to ensure the Sea Dart system continues to be effective and supportable until the ships in which it is fitted are phased out of service.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on which NATO services operate three dimensional air search surveillance radars for their ships ; and when the Royal Navy will obtain such a capacity.
Column 407radars which provide the capabilities judged to be necessary to satisfy the Royal Navy's operational requirements. Details of the equipments deployed are classified.
Mr. Sainsbury : The United Kingdom is currently engaged in two parallel projects aimed at meeting this requirement, the NATO anti-air warfare system (NAAWS) and the European family of anti-air missile systems (FAMS). We are pleased with the progress of both these projects, but are not yet in a position to indicate a preference between the two.
Mr. Sainsbury : We have plans for sufficient orders of new type 23 frigates to ensure that the strength of the destroyer and frigate force remains at about 50 as older ships are progressively paid off in the next decade. No decisions have yet been taken on when the type 21 frigates will be paid off.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Her Majesty's Government are planning to rely on external sources of supply to equip the armed services with clothing and vehicles in the event of a conventional war.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims for compensation because of personal injury due to alleged negligence have been made by members of the forces in each year since they were entitled to do so ; and how many have been successful.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : A total of 139 claims were received in 1987, a further 265 in 1988 and another 204 have been received so far this year. Of these claims, 60 have been successfully concluded and 425 have yet to be finalised. These figures include claims arising from incidents occurring during the six months immediately prior to the repeal of section 10 of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, which are being dealt with exceptionally on an ex-gratia basis.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the insurance policy which the services are required to have for their vehicles by the Road Traffic Acts and whether it covers tracked armoured cars.
Mr. Neubert : The legislation relating to insurance in respect of third-party risks does not apply to vehicles or persons acting in the service of the Crown. Nevertheless, my Department does hold an insurance policy with Guardian Royal Exchange for third-party claims arising out of road traffic accidents involving all its vehicles, including tracked armoured vehicles.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list in the Official Report the precise amounts paid to each of the following contractors by his Department in respect of headquarter contracts in the year ended 31 March 1988 (a) Jaguar plc, (b) Dunlop Ltd. aviation division, (c) Rolls-Royce plc supply group and (d) Rolls-Royce plc industrial and marine division.
Mr. Sainsbury : Records of payments made to divisions or other sub- groups within companies are not generally kept. Such information is in any event regarded as commercially confidential. We have no record of any payments made to Jaguar plc.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total area of the Woolwich arsenal west site which is to be released by his Department ; and what is its estimated current market value.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to him on 11 April 1989 at column 516. The total area of the Woolwich arsenal west site to be released following the move of the director general of defence quality assurance, a proposal at present the subject of consultation with the trade unions, is approximately 79 acres.
As the site will be sold on the open market by competitive tender, it would not be appropriate to disclose our estimate of current market value.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : No. As my hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces told my hon. Friend on 9 May 1989 at column 427, consideration of the review into future arrangements for service animal training will be completed this month. We will then be in a position to make a decision.