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Mr. Archie Hamilton : The United States possesses a limited retaliatory stockpile of chemical weapons.

Information Technology

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials in his Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended a

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course (a) specifically on information technology and (b) containing an element of information technology ; and what percentage each represents of all the staff in those grades in his Department.

Mr. Alan Clark : Twenty-four civilian officers in grades 1, 2 and 3 have attended courses specifically on information technology since promotion to the level of grade 3. Twenty-eight officers (including 12 of those who have attended specific courses) have attended courses containing an element of information technology. These represent 35 per cent. and 41 per cent. respectively of the total number of staff in these grades.

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many work stations excluding stand-alone word processors are currently installed in his Department; and what is the ratio of such work stations to civil servants.

Mr. Alan Clark : I shall write to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Minister in his Department is responsible for day-to-day management of his Department's information technology strategy ; and what proportion of his time was spent on this matter in the month up to Friday 13 October.

Mr. Alan Clark : The day-to-day management of the Department's information technology (IT) strategy is the responsibility of officials. I am the Minister responsible for oversight of information technology matters. Information technology is in general so integrated into the Department's business functions that to attempt to apportion specific intervals of an individual's time to its consideration would involve too high a proportion of variables.

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Ulster Defence Regiment

Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he proposes to have members of the Ulster Defence Regiment re- vetted ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : Further improvements are being made to the processes of screening new recruits to the Ulster Defence Regiment, transferees from other Army units, and for carrying out reviews as appropriate. Among the new measures is the establishment of an enhanced and specifically-dedicated screening unit.

Project Cancellations

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list in the Official Report those weapons and systems projects in the last five years for each of the three services which have been cancelled or otherwise aborted prior to being brought into service, showing the amount of development money lost prior to cancellation and as a proportion of the total budgeted cost of the original project.

Mr. Alan Clark : Major weapons systems projects which had entered full development and which were subsequently cancelled, in the last five financial years, prior to being brought into service are as follows :

(a)                      |(b)                     |(c)                     |(d)                                              

Project                  |Service                 |Expenditure at          |(c) as a percentageof                            

                                                  |Cancellation (£ million)|estimated Project Total                          


CACS 4                   |RN                      |<1>39                   |14                                               

SP70                     |Army                    |88                      |35                                               

Nimrod AEW               |RAF                     |660                     |50                                               

<1> Part of the development cost of CACS 4, amounting to £11 million, was previously commercially sensitive.                 


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