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Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list by year for the past 10 years, the amount of night flying that has taken place at Royal Air Force Finningley for (a) training purposes and (b) other reasons ; and how much has taken place to date for 1991.
|Hours ------------------ 1981 |1,189 1982 |1,112 1983 |847 1984 |706 1985 |480 1986 |716 1987 |850 1988 |626 1989 |870 1990 |1,281 Note: The figure for 1991, to date, is 461 hours.
Most of this flying took place away from RAF Finningley. Nearly all was for training purposes.
Column 611the design of the VIPER--verifiable integrated processor for enhanced reliability--microprocessor where it is used in safety-critical computer systems controlled by his Department ; (2) what steps his Department has taken with regard to the use of the VIPER microprocessor in safety-critical computer systems controlled by his Department in response to questions as to its design and safety of operation raised in reports published by researchers employed by his Department at the university of Cambridge ;
(3) what assessment he has made of the consequences of his Department's premature announcements as to the reliability of the VIPER microprocessor and its premature market launch through commercial licensees appointed by his Department ;
(4) what steps his Department is taking to discourage the use of the VIPER microprocessor in civil safety-critical computer systems.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The VIPER microchip was designed to a formal mathematical specification. There is debate among theoreticians about the extent to which VIPER can be said to be "proved" in a formal mathematical sense, but this should not be allowed to undermine the importance of the VIPER achievement : it was the first microchip to be designed to a formal mathematical specification ; it was verified by the best methods available ; and its design has been more rigorously documented and tested than that of any other microprocessor currently available commercially.
The comments made by the department of mathematics, university of Cambridge, were in the context of the continuing research programme being carried out by the electronics division, DRA, RSRE Malvern and related to the rigour of the mathematical proof process. To date, no errors have been found in the VIPER design.
My Department remains convinced that VIPER represents the best currently available microprocessor design for use in both civil and defence safety critical applications. If, however, any question about responsibility for damage, injury or death were to arise, it would be dealt with in the light of the relevant legal considerations. VIPER is not currently used in any safety-critical computer systems controlled by MOD. Further comment at this stage would be inappropriate in view of current legal proceedings.
Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the Official Report the complete list of equipment and units deployed to the Gulf after 2 August 1990, including territorial and reserve forces.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Details of the units and major equipments deployed to the Gulf are being collated and will be published in the statement on the defence estimates and the United Kingdom joint commander's despatch.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 May, Official Report, column 272, what was the date on which representatives of his Department were in private communication with the Civil Service Appeal Board ; and whether this communication was written or oral.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 May, Official Report, column 271, if he will make a statement on the nature of the information about his Department's expected refitting programme that has been provided to the management companies of Rosyth and Devonport dockyards.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : The nature of the information provided by the Ministry of Defence to the management companies at Devonport and Rosyth in respect of their core programmes is a commercially confidential matter.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Following the acceptance of HMS Marlborough on 7 March and HMS Argyll on 17 April 1991, there are now seven type 23 frigates on order. We expect all the remaining ships to enter service by the end of 1994.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will provide details of the effect that the temporary bar on new commitments that he described in the debate of 18 June 1990, Official Report, column 688, has had on the equipment programmes listed on pages 37, 39, 40 and 41 of volume 1 of the "Statement of Defence Estimates 1990".
47. Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with which of the defence contractors listed on page 15 of volume 2 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1990" he has discussed the "Options for Change" study.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 May, Official Report, column 272, what was the amount of fees payable in connection with the Calcutt inquiry ; and whether these fees are in addition to the compensation payment of £30,000 to Mr. Colin Wallace.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The sum of £30,000 paid in compensation to Mr. Wallace did not include legal costs. The sum paid to Mr. Wallace's solicitors is commercially confidential, as are the costs of Mr. Calcutt's work on behalf of the Department.
(2) what consideration has been given to (a) disbanding regiments and (b) converting regiments from Regular to Territorial status as part of the "Options for Change" study ;
(3) whether he is making an assessment of permanently stationing regiments at particular locations as part of the "Options for Change" study ;
(4) whether any consideration of posting individual service personnel from regiment to regiment is taking place as part of the "Options for Change" study ;
(5) whether he is reassessing the system of moving complete regiments to different locations as part of the "Options for Change" study.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : We continue to study these and other matters as part of our work on "Options for Change"; but, as we have made clear on previous occasions, it is our intention to retain the regimental system.
Column 614are covered by the principal civil service pension scheme. This is non-contributory except for a deduction of 1 per cent. of pay in respect of the spouses'/dependants' benefits element of the scheme.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which shipyards have won orders for auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels ; whether he has plans to order more auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Harland and Wolff, and Swan Hunter Shipbuilders each have an order for one auxiliary oiler replenishment vessel. We expect to order further vessels, but no decisions have yet been made on the size and timing of such orders.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : In peacetime, BAOR has three armoured divisions, the composition of each of which is as follows : 1 Armoured Division--5 armoured regiments and 5 infantry battalions 3 Armoured Division--4 armoured regiments and 5 infantry battalions 4 Armoured Divisions--4 armoured regiments and 6 infantry battalions
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has made any detailed decisions about the future of individual BAOR units or their locations as part of the "Options for Change" study.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Thompson) on 24 January 1991 at column 319-20. No other decisions have been taken.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has been involved in regular meetings with his ministerial colleagues from the other NATO countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, when discussions have taken place on a range of issues including the future roles of allied forces in Europe.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assurances he has had from his Belgian counterpart regarding the supply of defence equipment and material for British armed forces in the event of a crisis.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Belgium provided valuable assistance in the form of medical and logistic support to the coalition (including British) forces during the recent crisis in the Gulf. As a member of the NATO alliance, Belgium is committed, like other members, to the concept
Column 615of collective defence. We have not sought any assurance from the Belgians about possible support for British forces in the event of a future crisis outside the NATO area.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Following withdrawal from NFR90, we have been considering the way forward for an anti-air warfare frigate to replace the type 42 from around the turn of the century. We hope to make an announcement on the next stage of this programme in the next few months.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Mr. Hamilton) on 20 May at column 391 to my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed).
Mr. Carlisle : Royal Navy Lynx helicopters will be deployed on Royal Navy ships into the next century. A range of improvements is being introduced to sustain their capability during the remainder of their operational lives.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will provide details of the effect that the "Options for Change" study has had on the equipment programmes listed on pages 37, 39, 40 and 41 of volume 1 of the "Statement of Defence Estimates 1990".
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I am not yet in a position to add to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 4 December 1990 at column 161 and by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement on 19 December at column 212.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Entitlement to allowances and liability for charges for service personnel serving abroad depend on the location and the nature of the duties being carried out and vary in accordance with individual circumstances.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Brimanetish armed forces are presently seconded to the staff training college, Dhaka, Bangladesh ; and what is the nature of their secondment.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Our policy remains as set out in the reply that my hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Mr. Hamilton) gave the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Wardell) on 25 April 1990 at col. 208 .
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the categories of live ammunition and weapons recovered from the wreckage of aircraft that have crashed in low-flying exercises in Britain in the past four years.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : No aircraft armed with live ammunition have crashed in low-flying exercises in Britain in the past four years. However, practice bombs using small spotting charges and practice ammunition are carried frequently. Some of the aircraft involved in accidents while low flying were carrying practice munitions.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any planes carrying or armed with live ammunition have crashed in Wales in the past three years from (a) low-flying exercises and (b) other flying exercises.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any live ammunition has been recovered from the wreckage of aircraft which have crashed in low-flying exercises in the Brecon and Radnor constituency.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all open policy documents published by his Department since 1980 ; and what plans he has to publish further open policy documents.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The principal document published by the Ministry of Defence which sets out defence policy is the annual statement on the defence estimates. In addition, the Department makes available a wide range of material dealing with policy issues, ranging from discussion papers to press releases. It would be
Column 617impractical to provide a list of all such materials published since 1980. The Ministry plans to continue its practice of issuing policy documents as appropriate.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the video shown by the Defence Research Agency at the defence components and equipment exhibition in Birmingham on 14 and 15 May, cost to make ; how many copies are available for distribution ; how much it costs to hire the video ; and whether it is available to foreign military authorities on request.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : This is a matter for the Defence Research Agency under its framework document. I have therefore asked the chief executive of the Defence Research Agency, Mr. Nigel Hughes, to reply direct to the hon. Member.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has about incidents involving a submarine and the boat Scottish Power between midnight on 18 May and 3 am on 19 May ; if he will conduct an inquiry into the allegation by the skipper of Scottish Power that a submarine buzzed the vessel ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The skipper of the yacht reported to the Clyde coastguard that between 2300 on 18 May and 0100 19 May, he had sighted lights close to his vessel on three occasions. In the final instance he reported that he also saw the conning tower of a surfaced submarine approximately half a mile away. Submarine movements at the time of this incident have been fully reviewed and I can confirm that there were no Royal Navy or NATO submarines within 60 miles of the location of the reported sighting.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has about the military training given to those military forces in Cambodia that are fighting against the Government of that country and are not part of the Khmer Rouge.
Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his assessment of the effectiveness of those military forces in Cambodia that are fighting against the Government of that country and are not part of the Khmer Rouge.
Column 618the first quarter of 1991-92, from (a) right to buy sales, (b) rents to mortgage sales, (c) sales under the portable discount scheme and (d) vacant possession sales.
|£ million ------------------------------------------------- Right to buy sales |9.041 Rent to mortgage sales |0.129 Portable discount scheme |0.191 Vacant possession sales |1.032 |--- Total |10.393
The figures include receipts from miscellaneous items, such as building insurance and repair funds. Figures net of these items are not currently available for each type of sale.
Mr. Maxton : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish Homes (ex-SSHA) dwellings were modernised in each calendar year, and in each financial year from 1979 to the nearest available date.
Number of houses comprehensively modernised Financial year<1> |Number ------------------------------------------------------- 1975-76 to 1981-82 |8,422 1982-83 |1,074 1983-84 |1,122 1984-85 |1,180 1985-86 |1,246 1986-87 |733 1987-88 |1,223 1988-89 |733 1989-90 |<2>811 <1> Figures for individual financial years not readily available. <2> Includes 278 units which were improved in estate based strategy areas.
Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland by how much expenditure on local museums has increased since 1979, both in terms of Government grant-in-aid and expenditure by local authorities.
Mr. Allan Stewart : Government support for local museums is channelled through the Scottish Museums Council, which works to improve the quality of local museums and gallery provision in Scotland. The council's grant-in-aid from Government has increased from £145,000 in 1979-80 to £665,000 in 1991-92, an increase in real terms of 98 per cent. Information on local authorities' expenditure on museums was not available separately until 1983-84. However, expenditure on museums and libraries has increased from £27.8 million in 1979-80 to £93.8 million in 1991- 92, an increase in real terms of 46 per cent. On museums alone the increase in expenditure from 1983-84 to 1991-92 is 24.1 per cent. in real terms.
Column 619Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The cost of food for prisoners is determined by the weekly ration sheet based on an approved dietary scale. On that basis the average daily cost of food per prisoner in Her Majesty's prison, Perth is £1.15.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Prison dietary scales are designed to ensure that all prisoners are given balanced, nutritional and varied meals. The catering arrangements for prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Perth are of a satisfactory and acceptable standard.