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Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a breakdown of the articles derived from endangered species by (a) type, (b) animal and (c) country of origin seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in the year to 31 March.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : The detailed information sought will not be available for some time. As soon as it is, I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West of 26 May, Official Report, column 810, if he will now give the finalised record of articles derived from endangered species seized in 1988.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 20 July 1989] : The detailed information sought is not yet available. As soon as the necessary collation has been completed, I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library.
Mr. Chope I have been asked to reply.
I assume the hon. Member is referring to my Department's consultation paper of 17 May, inviting comments on draft regulations introducing controls over hazardous substances. There is no intention to provide a general system of compensation where restrictions are imposed on the location and use of such substances. This follows the principle that compensation is not normally payable for a refusal of planning consent, or for making a consent subject to conditions. The new regulations will, however, provide for deemed consents to be automatically available for established uses.
(2) how many unidentified aircraft entered the United Kingdom air defence region in 1988 ; how many of these were (a) Soviet military aircraft, (b) non-Soviet military aircaft and (c) civil aircraft.
(3) in what year the Royal Air Force first intercepted a Soviet Backfire aircraft ; and what was the approximate location of the interception ;
(4) what was the average number of Soviet military aircraft intercepted per week by Royal Air Force aircraft in the United Kingdom defence regions in 1988 ; what are the trends in the level of activity since 1979 ; and what are the reasons for these trends ; (5) what was the average number of scrambles of Royal Air Force interceptor aircraft to locate and identify unidentified aircraft approaching the United Kingdom air defence region in 1988 ; and what proportion of these scrambles resulted in interception of an intruding aircaft.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my predecessor to him on 3 May 1988 at column 384, and to the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Macdonald) on 14 December 1987 at column 412. The average number of Soviet aircraft intercepted in the United Kingdom air defence region each week in 1988 was 2-3. Details of such interceptions, including numbers of scrambles and types of aircraft intercepted are classified. I am not prepared to speculate about the reasons for fluctuations in Soviet aircraft activity.
(a) Infantry Battalion Group training exercises--involving approximately 600 men for six weeks, tri-annually since 1979 ; (
Column 551(b) Royal Engineer construction training-- involving approximately 120 men for two and a half months, annually since 1979 ;
(c) Royal Engineer survey training--involving approximately 35 men for four to six weeks, annually since 1979 with the exception of 1982 and 1984 ;
(d) Royal Signals training--two exercises, involving approximately 120 men and lasting for two and a half months, one in 1983 and one in 1984 ;
(e) Infantry Company training--five exercises involving approximately 120 men, for six weeks, in 1979, 1981, 1983 1985 and 1987 ;
(f) Adventurous Training--since 1986 there have been 27 expeditions of various types and for various lengths of time involving 418 people ; information for the years prior to 1986 is not available.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the date of formation, operational base, equipment, staffing and role of No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force regiment.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : No. 3 Squadron Royal Air Force regiment, which is equipped with a variety of vehicles and infantry equipment, was formed in 1987. It is stationed at RAF Aldergrove, with a peacetime role of ground defence and general security duties. It is not our practice to publish detailed information about personnel numbers in operational units.
Mr. Sainsbury : HMS Trenchant was delivered by the contractor in February this year. The delivery date forecast in 1987 was September 1988. The delivery date changed because of industrial action at VSEL during 1988.
Mr. Sainsbury : HMS Upholder is planned to be delivered by the contractor around the end of 1989. The delivery date forecast in 1987 was August 1988. This change was due, first, to industrial action at VSEL during 1988 and, secondly because of a number of technical problems with new-to-service equipment on this the first of a new class of diesel- electric submarines.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the nature and purpose of the forthcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise Sharp Spear; when and where it will take place; and how many ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel will take part.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Sharp Spear 89 is a major NATO maritime exercise which will take place from 7 to 21 September 1989 in the Baltic, Baltic approaches, the North sea, and waters surrounding the British Isles, including the
Column 552Channel. It will demonstrate and improve the ability of NATO maritime forces to conduct shallow seas operations and protect reinforcement and merchant shipping in the waters off north-west Europe. Over 270 ships and submarines and 320 aircraft, and their associated personnel from 10 NATO countries will take part in the exercise.
Mr. Neubert : Ministry of Defence records of flights over the Federal Republic of Germany are maintained only for Royal Air Force aircraft. In 1988 RAF Germany carried out some 16,000 fixed-wing low-level sorties over the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what records are kept by his Department of employment levels in companies providing services to his Department on contract in areas where these services were previously provided by Ministry of Defence civilian personnel.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Euclid programme for European collaboration on defence technology research ; and what role and financial contribution will be made by the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sainsbury : Defence Ministers, at their meeting in Portugal in June, agreed to launch a joint programme of research and technology in defence which will be called EUCLID (European co-operative long-term intitiative in defence). The programme which it is envisaged will start in 1990, enjoys full United Kingdom support and will be based on the IPEG's work to establish a European technology plan for a number of technology areas important to defence. More detailed proposals--including funding plans--will be submitted to IEPG Ministers at their next meeting in February 1990. Present plans envisage IEPG nations spending about 120 million ECUs (£80 million) per year on this initiative with a United Kingdom contribution in the order of £15 million. European industry will, in due course, be invited to put forward proposals to meet the research priorities identified in the programme.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West of 11 July, Official Report, column 495, if he will give details of the animals used in experiments by his Department or undertaken on a contract basis for each year since 1985 by (a) animal, (b) numbers and (c) type of experiment or test.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 20 July 1989] : The number of Ministry of Defence animal experiments recorded by the Home Office under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 and the subsequent Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 between 1985 and 1987 (the last full year for which figures are available) is as follows :
|Number --------------------- 1985 |6,900 1986 |6,600 1987 |9,200
It is not our practice to provide further breakdown of these figures. Such information could enable an informed observer to gain a useful insight into the scope and direction of MOD's work, to the detriment of national security.
Contractors have the same reporting responsibilities as MOD under the act and their procedures are reported to the Home Office, not to MOD.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months ; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
Mr Sainsbury : To assist in obtaining better value for money, the Ministry of Defence has implemented a number of measures to broaden its competition base, In particular, in November 1986 my noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement launched the small firms initiative which particularly sought to encourage small firms to bid for MOD business. The success of the initiatives can be measured by the degree of involvement of new companies in our competitions.
Over the last three years the MOD has made total
Column 554payments each year to small firms of about £1,000 million. The number of small firms receiving payment on direct contract has increased from some 4,000 in 1986-87 to over 7,000 in 1988-89. In 1987-88 some 1,500 firms sought advice from the newly formed small firms advice division, and in 1988-89 the figure was more that 2,500. In recognition of the division's success, in November 1988 my noble Friend relaunched it as the new suppliers service, with the aim of making the benefits of this service available to potential new suppliers of all sizes (including foreign companies).
The small firms initiative is still a key element in encouraging competition and the new suppliers service retains a cell dedicated to dealing with small firms. In 1988-89 about 3,000 companies of all sizes approached the division for advice, either direct--by telephone or letter-- or at the 60-odd sessions involving seminars or "meet the buyers" held throughout the United Kingdom last year. The seminars allow MOD's procurement policies and procedures to be explained to a large audience, and the "meet the buyer" sessions enable a wide range of individual queries to be dealt with at one forum ; such events have been held, increasingly, in association with regional development agencies, the CBI and other interested bodies. The new suppliers service is responsible for producing the booklet "selling to the MOD" which offers important guidance on MOD's policies and procedures, useful background information and contact points. The fourth, much expanded, edition was published last autumn, containing much new information, not only on selling directly to the MOD but to our prime contractors. A fifth edition is planned for later this year.
The service is also responsible for promoting the small firms research initiative (as part of the small firms initiative) aimed at encouraging small firms to bid for research work. In 1987-88, 32 firms won business totalling £1.1 million. In 1988-89, 38 firms won business worth £1.3 million. The trend is encouraging and the level of interest by small firms remains high.
Registration of new companies on the defence contractors list remains high. In 1988, 300 new small firms were registered, the same as in 1987.
The tangible results of the SFI show that a high level of interest continues, and that the demand for briefings and advice remain high as well. We shall continue to encourage small firms and monitor their response, and the contributions which this makes towards better value for money.
Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much time warships spent on average at sea in 1988, 1978, 1968, and 1959 or for the nearest comparable 10 year intervals back from the latest available date.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Comprehensive information is not available in the form requested from 1968 or earlier. However, the average time spent at sea by warships in 1988 and 1978, expressed as a percentage of operational time, was 41 per cent. and 42 per cent. respectively. The Navy is well aware of the possible consequences on morale of long periods spent at sea, and aims to set the optimum sea/shore ratio in its fleet programme.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Leyton, (Mr. Cohen), 18 April, Official Report , column 112 , what information he now has on the nature and purpose of the proposed additions to the flight simulator facility, the engine shop and the avionics maintenance shop at RAF Upper Heyford.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many deaths have occurred to service personnel as a result of controlled explosions of ordnance in the last 10 years for which information is available.
Mr. Neubert : Apart from the three deaths in the tragic accident at Kineton on 17 July this year, which are to be the subject of a board of inquiry, over the past 10 years there have been no fatalities as a result of the controlled demolition of ordnance.
Mr. Neubert : A board of inquiry into the incident at Kineton on 17 July will be established, following the submission, as evidence, of the RMP report on the incident, and will be completed as quickly as possible. It is not our practice to publish board of inquiry reports but I will write to the hon. Member once the board's findings are known. Additional precautionary safety guidelines have been issued pending the outcome of the inquiry.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many men and women hold non-commissioned officer rank in each of the forces ; and what percentage of the total in the forces this represents by rank and sex ;
(2) how many persons there are in Her Majesty's forces, by Navy, Army and Air Force and by men and women ;
(3) how many persons there are in commissioned ranks by Navy, Army and Air Force ; and what percentage of the total in each service is represented by (a) men and (b) women.
United Kingdom regular forces-rank breakdown by service and sex at 31 March 1989 Royal Navy Royal MaArmys Royal Air Force |Male |Female |Male |Female |Male |Female ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total strength |53,500 |3,450 |7,689 |149,062|6,505 |85,144 |6,299 Officers-total |9,080 |386 |690 |16,270 |1,040 |14,352 |1,022 Breakdown by rank-numbers Field Marshall |1 |- |- |- |- |1 |- General |4 |- |- |8 |- |6 |- Lieutenant General |13 |- |1 |10 |- |9 |- Major General |40 |- |3 |65 |- |52 |- Brigadier |28 |1 |2 |239 |3 |107 |2 Colonel |362 |5 |35 |625 |16 |423 |3 Lieutenant Colonel |1,198 |14 |103 |1,838 |28 |1,361 |15 Major |2,400 |68 |182 |5,201 |135 |3,713 |97 Captain |3,149 |190 |288 |4,804 |484 |5,813 |441 Lietenant/2nd Lt. |600 |69 |- |2,890 |350 |2,681 |435 Officer designate |1,285 |39 |76 |590 |24 |186 |29 Breakdown by rank-percentage Field Marshal |- |- |- |- |- |- |- General |- |- |- |- |- |- |- Lieutenant General |0.1 |- |0.1 |0.1 |- |0.1 |- Major General |0.4 |- |0.4 |0.4 |- |0.4 |- Brigadier |0.3 |0.3 |0.3 |1.5 |0.3 |0.7 |0.2 Colonel |4.0 |1.3 |5.1 |3.8 |1.5 |2.9 |0.3 Lieutenant Colonel |13.2 |3.6 |14.9 |11.3 |2.7 |9.5 |1.5 Major |26.4 |17.6 |26.4 |32.0 |13.0 |25.9 |9.5 Captain |34.7 |49.2 |41.7 |29.5 |46.5 |40.5 |43.2 Lieutenant/2nd Lt. |6.6 |17.9 |- |17.8 |33.7 |18.7 |42.6 Officer designate |14.2 |10.1 |11.0 |3.6 |2.3 |1.3 |2.8 Servicemen/women-total |44,420 |3,064 |6,999 |132,792|5,465 |70,792 |5,277 Breakdown by rank-numbers Warrant Officer Class 1 |881 |14 |26 |2,191 |31 |2,158 |21 Warrant Officer Class 2 |- |- |201 |5,864 |76 |- |- Staff Sergeant |8,257 |146 |342 |7,671 |160 |6,104 |34 Sergeant |7,579 |392 |719 |14,422 |530 |11,463 |332 Corporal |9,753 |834 |1,245 |22,503 |984 |20,956 |1,200 Lance Corporal |- |- |- |22,337 |1,283 |- |- Private (Classes 1 to 3) |12,454 |1,118 |3,612 |42,780 |1,673 |26,792 |3,409 Private Class 4/Junior |5,496 |560 |854 |15,024 |728 |3,319 |281 Breakdown by rank-percentages Warrant Officer Class 1 |2.0 |0.5 |0.4 |1.6 |0.6 |3.0 |0.4 Warrant Officer Class 2 |- |- |2.9 |4.4 |1.4 |- |- Staff Sergeant |18.6 |4.8 |4.9 |5.8 |2.9 |8.6 |0.6 Sergeant |17.1 |12.8 |10.3 |10.9 |9.7 |16.2 |6.3 Corporal |22.0 |27.2 |17.8 |16.9 |18.0 |29.6 |22.7 Lance Corporal |- |- |- |16.8 |23.5 |- |- Private (Classes 1 to 3) |28.0 |36.5 |51.6 |32.2 |30.6 |37.8 |64.6 Private Class 4/Junior |12.4 |18.3 |12.2 |11.3 |13.3 |4.7 |5.3 Notes: 1. All ranks shown are Army ranks. Personnel of the other Services are shown against their equivalent Army rank. 2. A dash (-) represents zero or, in the sections of the table showing percentages, a value of less than 0.05. 3. For the RN and RM only those officers holding Commodore and Brigadier appointments respectively are shown against the equivalent Army rank of Brigadier.
Junior (aged under 17 )--£3,321.50 to £4,500.45, depending on age Basic Trainees (aged over 17 )--£5,953.15 to £6,226.90, depending on the length of their initial commitment.
Rates for the Royal Navy are similar except that all basic trainees start on £5,935.15. The Royal Navy also employs apprentice artificers at a starting salary of £4,387.30 per annum.
For femal recruits in all three services the annual rate of pay on joining is :
|£ --------------------------------- Under 17" |4,460.30 Basic trainees |5,898.40 Officer Cadets |6,719
Mr. Neubert : The proportion of service men united with their families whilst serving overseas on accompanied postings is 95.6 per cent. It is not possible to identify what percentage of these are home owners, without incurring disproportionate costs.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, further to his reply of 6 July to the right hon. Member for Swansea, West, Official Report , column 263 , the seven Ministry of Defence officials who are not full-time members of the nuclear-powered warships safety committee have voting rights ; who is on the committee specifically to represent environmental or community viewpoints ; and if there are any representatives from the Departments of the Environment, the Welsh Office, the Scottish Office or the Northern Ireland Office.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : No vote is taken at meetings of the nuclear- powered warships safety committee (NPWSC). Only unanimous advice is put forward. It is a committee of technical experts whose terms of reference are confined to public safety. The Department of the Environment is represented on the committee by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution (HMIP), and Scottish Office by Her Majesty's industrial pollution inspectorate. Although HMIP is part of the Department of the Environment, it also advises the Welsh Office, and where appropriate represents that Department on the NPWSC. The membership of the NPWSC includes experts from several other bodies which have environmental and public safety responsibilities : the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Health and the nuclear installations inspectorate ; and the National Radiological Protection Board. The Northern Ireland Office is not represented as there are no berths or facilities for nuclear-powered submarines in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Sainsbury : No. It has been the consistent policy of this and previous Administrations not to release details of invitation lists to British forces equipment exhibitions. Invitations are issued on a confidential basis and it would be a breach of trust to release names.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and where the next Royal Navy equipment exhibition will be held ; and on which dates it will be open to (a) overseas customers, (b) the press and (c) the British public.
Mr. Sainsbury : The next Royal Navy equipment exhibition (RNEE) will be held at Whale island, Portsmouth between 24 and 29 September 1989. Sunday 24 September will be the press day and the exhibition will be open to VIPs and overseas customers on 25 to 27 September. The remaining two days are trade days although overseas customers will still be welcome. The exhibition is not open to members of the public.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 13 July 1989] : Sea dumping of intermediate-level nuclear waste prior to 1983 was carried out under a licence issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. No differentiation was made between ILW produced by the Ministry of Defence as a result of submarine refits and that arising from other sources.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 17 July 1989] : There have been no changes to the IUKADGE command and control system operational requirement since the development contract was awarded to UKSL in 1980. However, as is usual practice, provision is made in the contract for changes to be made, by agreement between
Column 560the parties, to the detailed specifications, or for necessary additions to be made which were not foreseen at the time of the contract. Such changes are promulgated by means of specification change notices, of which 28 have to date been agreed at prime contract level and 267 at lower levels. the majority of these were requested by the prime contractor.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether electromagnetic interference has been a contributory factor in any accidents involving ground-based, seaborne or airborne weapons systems.