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Mr. Archie Hamilton : It is not the practice to make available long- term forecasts of year-by-year expenditure on projects. However, I can say that expenditure on the Trident programme is expected to be approximately £1,000 million in 1990-91, and approximately £4,000 million over the period 1990-91 to 1994-95. It is intended to announce a revised estimate for the Trident programme early next year.


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Tornado (Toxic Emission)

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the amount and type of toxic emission (a) per mile and (b) per minute of a Tornado jet.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The emissions from a Tornado aircraft's RB 199 engine include carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, unburnt fuel and partially burnt fuel products, and smoke. The amount and mix of these products will depend upon a number of variable factors including the use of the after burner and the power setting of the engine. I understand there is no evidence to indicate that they present any hazard to the public during normal flying or ground operations.

Seaham Harbour Sea Cadets

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement concerning the relocation of the Seaham Harbour sea cadets ; and if he will pay a visit to the Seaham Harbour cadet corps.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The sea cadet corps is constitutionally not part of the Royal Navy but an independent voluntary civilian youth organisation with charitable status to which the Ministry of Defence makes an annual grant. I understand that the Seaham Harbour sea cadets are currently negotiating locally for a plot of land on which to erect new premises to replace their present temporary accommodation. My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to visit Seaham.

Bomb Disposal (Training)

Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much it costs to train (1) an arms technician sergeant in bomb disposal, (2) a typical sergeant in the Royal Signals, and (3) a typical sergeant in bomb disposal of the RAF.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The information requested by my hon. Friend is as follows : (1) £45,750, (2) £34,250 and (3) £57,500. In all cases these figures represent the accumulated costs of initial and subsequent training of a typical sergeant in the categories concerned, but they do not include the trainee's pay.

Royal Navy (Home Purchase Scheme)

Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Royal Naval home purchase scheme costs ; and how much it will cost to increase it from £3,500 to £12,000.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : The estimated cost of the long service advance of pay scheme, used by married RN personnel to assist in house purchase, is £2.7 million for the current financial year. The extra net cost of raising the maximum advance available to £12,000 is estimated to be about £31 million over 10 years, of which the majority would be required in the first three years. This estimate takes no account of the effect of fluctuations in the housing market on demands for advances. The scheme is self-financing over the long term.

European Co-operative Long-Term Initiative

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money Her Majesty's Government have committed to the European co-operative long- term


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initiative for defence ; for what purpose ; whether it will be reviewed before any binding financial commitment is made ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : In common with other IEPG nations, the Government have not yet committed money to the European co-operative long-term initiative for defence (EUCLID) programme and will not do so until details of the collaborative programmes have been fully identified. It is expected that money should start to be committed during the course of 1990, as the collaboration programmes are agreed. I refer to the reply given to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) on 24 July 1989 at column 553.

Research Agency

Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made towards establishing a defence research agency under the Government's next steps initiative ; and whether any decision has yet been taken on its status within the public sector.

Mr. Neubert : Since my predecessor's statement to the House on 16 March 1989 on the intention to establish a defence research agency (DRA), Mr. Nigel Hughes has been appointed chief executive (designate) following open competition ; an MOD implementation team is taking work forward, with the chief executive (designate), to develop the organisation, procedures and infrastructure that will be needed within both the MOD and DRA ; and we have been consulting the trades unions.

My Department has been considering the status of the DRA and how best to secure the necessary change. For the new and sharper relationship required, between the customers for and suppliers of defence research and project support, the DRA will need to be clearly distinct from the rest of the MOD, run on businesslike lines and with a trading relationship with its customers in MOD and elsewhere. At the same time, it must continue to make its key contribution as an independent and objective source of scientific and technical advice, in support of defence equipment procurement and related matters. I believe that the best way forward is to establish the DRA as a Government trading fund within the Civil Service as quickly as possible. This would take the form of a distinct organisation answerable to the Secretary of State for Defence. Work will now be concentrated on putting this into effect.

As my predecessor told the House, a final decision on the move to agency status will depend upon successful completion of this work. Our target date remains April 1991.

Nuclear Warhead Test (Nevada)

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the purpose of the nuclear warhead test conducted jointly with the United States of America in Nevada on 8 December ; what was the yield of the test ; whether any radiation was released above ground from the test ; whether any military operational staff were radiologically contaminated ; and what was the cost to the United Kingdom of this nuclear test.

Mr. Alan Clark : Beyond confirming that the yield of the test was within the planned range of 20-150 kilotons, and


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assuring the hon. Member that there was no release of radiation (and hence no contamination of any personnel whatsoever), it is not our practice to answer questions of this nature.

WE177 Bomb

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the weapon systems being considered by Her Majesty's Government as a replacement for the WE177 bomb.

Mr. Alan Clark : Discussions are taking place with both the United States and French Governments on options for the possible replacement of the WE177 free-fall bomb.

Nuclear Missiles

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions under the terms of the Anglo-United States agreement on the uses of atomic energy for mutual defence purposes of 1958, Her Majesty's Government have had with the United States Government concerning the Anglo- French co-production of nuclear air-to-surface missiles.

Mr. Alan Clark : Officials are discussing options for the delivery vehicle for the United Kingdom's future theatre nuclear weapon with both the United States and France. There are no plans for an Anglo-French collaborative programme which would fall within the scope of the United States/United Kingdom 1958 agreement.

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has as to whether British Aerospace is currently conducting any feasibility studies into the possible development of a nuclear air-to- surface missile ; and what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with British Aerospace in respect of the possible development of such a missile.

Mr. Alan Clark : British Aerospace is one of the contractors involved in the assessment of options for the replacement of the WE177 free -fall bomb. No decisions on development can be taken until the current assessment studies are completed.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether, under the terms of the Anglo-United States agreement on the uses of atomic energy for mutual defence purposes of 1958, the United Kingdom can conduct any collaborative programme, involving the development and production of nuclear weapon systems, with any country other than the United States of America without the prior agreement of the United States Government.

Mr. Alan Clark : The United Kingdom is constrained by the terms of the non-proliferation treaty in collaboration with other countries on nuclear weapons. Additionally, under the terms of the 1958 United Kingdom- United States agreement, United States approval would be necessary if the information to be exchanged originated from the United States. The United States is subject to similar constraints with regard to United Kingdom information.


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Equipment

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make available details of (a) main battle tanks, (b) artillery pieces, (c) armoured troop carriers, (d) combat aircraft and (e) combat helicopters in the United Kingdom's armed forces.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the NATO publication "Conventional Forces in Europe : The Facts", a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library.

General Dynamics

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what part the Defence Exports Services Organisation has played in offset banking arrangements involving the American company General Dynamics ; and what is the nature of the arrangements.

Mr. Alan Clark : The Defence Exports Services Organisation has negotiated an industrial participation (offset banking) memorandum of understanding with General Dynamics. The purpose of the MOU is to encourage General Dynamics to offer British defence industry opportunities to bid for a share of the work on all its major defence programmes. The value of orders placed will be "banked" by General Dynamics for subsequent use, in part, to satisfy future offset obligation, imposed by the MOD when making any future purchases from the United States company.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the involvement of the Defence Exports Services Organisation in the tour of Britain by the American company General Dynamics ; and what support and assistance has been given in this venture by his Department.

Mr. Alan Clark : The Defence Export Services Organisation in association with the DTI, various regional development authorities and local chambers of commerce organised a series of seminars and presentations given by General Dynamics as part of its marketing strategy to obtain more suppliers from the United Kingdom defence industry in support of all its major defence programmes. The DESO participated to the extent that it also briefed companies on how they could qualify to bid for work under the industrial participation (offset banking) MOU which the MOD has with General Dynamics.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met representatives of the American company General Dynamics ; and what was discussed.

Mr. Alan Clark : My right hon. Friend has held no formal meeting with General Dynamics and, at the present time, has no plans to do so. Officials have met the company to discuss possible future orders for tanks for the British Army.

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he or his officials have held or plan to hold any meetings with General Dynamics about future orders for tanks for the British Army ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark : My right hon. Friend has held no formal meeting with General Dynamics and, at the present


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time, has no plans to do so. Officials have met the company to discuss possible future orders for tanks for the British Army.

Chieftain Tanks

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what numbers of new battle tanks he will order to replace Chieftain tanks now in service.

Mr. Alan Clark : This has yet to be decided.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies have been asked to submit proposals for battle tanks to replace Chieftain tanks currently in service ; and what deadlines for submissions have been applied to each company.

Mr. Alan Clark : Vickers Defence Systems, General Dynamics and Kraus Maffei have been invited to submit proposals. Details of these invitations are commercial in confidence, but action has been set in hand to enable us to meet our aim of making a decision by the end of 1990.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which manufacturers have been informed by his Department of the precise number of battle tanks to be ordered to replace Chieftain tanks now in service.

Mr. Alan Clark : No decision on precise numbers of main battle tanks to replace Chieftain has yet been taken. Vickers Defence Systems, General Dynamics and Kraus Maffei have been invited to quote against option quantities.

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects to place the orders for new tanks for the British Army ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the projected date for his decision on the order of new battle tanks to replace Chieftain tanks currently in service.

Mr. Alan Clark : It is our intention to reach a decision on a tank to replace Chieftain by the end of 1990.

Ambulance Dispute

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the cost to each service of resources deployed on ambulance duties as part of the ambulance dispute since September.

Mr. Archie Hamilton : It is too early to provide an estimate of the extra costs to each service of resources deployed on ambulance duties, all of which will be met by the Department of Health. Costs for the first bill to the Department of Health, for the period up to 30 November, are still being collected.

Gun Fox Vehicles

Mr. Terry Fields : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many accidents have occurred of CVR(W) 30mm Gun Fox vehicles currently in use in Her Majesty's armed forces ; how many personnel have been killed or injured in such accidents ; what remedial steps have been taken to prevent accidents from occurring ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Archie Hamilton : I will write to the hon. Member.

Garrison Stables

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel are employed in the garrison stables ; how many horses are stabled there ; how many of these horses are owned by his Department and how many by private individuals.


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Mr. Archie Hamilton : I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the Household Cavalry and the King's Troop. With regard to the former 187 horses are stabled at Hyde Park barracks ; 180 belonging to MOD and seven to private individuals. In respect of the King's Troop, 120 horses are stabled at St. Johns Wood ; 119 belonging to MOD and one to a private individual. The total strength of the Household Cavalry at Hyde Park is 401 and at King's Troop it is 189 and all personnel are involved with work associated with horses.


 

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