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Mr. Sackville : This is a matter for the Yorkshire regional health authority. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman, Sir Brian Askew, for details.


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NHS Beds (Private Use)

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 18 January, Official Report, column 534, what are the safeguards that constrain the opportunities for health authorities and trusts in making available authorised pay-beds.

Mr Sackville : National health service trust hospitals may make beds available for private patients providing there is no significant interference with the performance by the trust of its obligations under NHS contracts. Similar provisions apply to directly managed units. These statutory requirements ensure that NHS patients are not disadvantaged by private practice within the health service.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific auditing or monitoring is undertaken to ensure that national health service private patient charges are calculated correctly and that all costs to the national health service are included.

Mr. Sackville : Auditors examine the adequacy of systems of financial control and compliance with them as part of their annual audit programme.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is her Department's policy on (a) collecting centrally and (b) for publishing information on the number of authorised pay-beds within the national health service since 1 April 1991 ;

(2) when she expects information on the number of authorised pay-beds in the national health service for the years 1991-92 and 1992-93 to become available ; and what are the reasons for the delay in making public information on authorised pay-beds in the national health service for 1991- 92.

Mr. Sackville : Since 1 April 1991, health authorities, on behalf of directly managed units, and trusts have, subject to certain safeguards, been able to determine their own private patient activity. Trusts record private patient income in their accounts but do not "authorise" pay-beds and therefore do not collect authorised bed numbers.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence her Department has received indicating abuses or omissions in the compilation of charges to private bed users within the national health service.

Mr. Sackville : None.

DEFENCE

Porton Down

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what tests and studies have been carried by the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down into binary reactant DF ; when these tests and studies were carried out ; and what was the assessment of these studies and tests ;

(2) if all the tests for the human volunteer programme run by the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down since 1964 have been carried out on service personnel alone ; and if all these tests have been conducted within the grounds of the establishments at either Porton Down or Nancekuke ;


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(3) what work has been conducted since 1964 inside NHS hospitals by scientists from the Porton Down chemical and biological warfare establishment ; when this work was carried out ; if this work involved NHS patients ; what was the conclusion of the work ; if the results of the work were exchanged with the United States of America, Canada and Australia ; and in which publications the results were published ;

(4) what was the nature of the collaborative work studied by the members of the chemical and biological defence establishment who were stationed for an extended period at the counterpart US military establishments in Edgewood and Fort Detrick and Maryland in recent years ; and how much of this collaborative work has been published in open scientific literature ;

(5) what is the procedure for monitoring and checking on the health of service personnel who have been tested with chemical and biological warfare agents at Porton Down in the years following the tests ; for how many years after the tests check-ups are made ; how often the check-ups are made ; if this information is automatically made available to the doctors of the service personnel, whether requested or not ; and what changes have been made to this procedure since 1964 ;

(6) what was the conclusion of Porton Down's work on coxiella burnettii referred to in his answer to the hon. Member of 16 July 1993, Official Report, column 712-19, in which years information from this research was exchanged with the United States of America ; and with which United States of America military establishment this information was exchanged ;

(7) following his answer, from which source the QL referred to in his reply of 16 July 1993, Official Report, column 712-19, was obtained, what was the conclusion of the study ; and if VX was produced as a result of the study into the transesterification process involving QL ;

(8) what studies and tests have been done by the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down to assess a nerve agent which penetrates skin and clothes quicker than the G agents and VX ; when these experiments were done ; and what was the conclusion of the assessment ;

(9) if he will make a statement on the considerations leading to the setting up by the chemical and biological defence board of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council of the new biomedical sciences committee and microbiology and biotechnology committee ; and if he will name the academic members of these committees ;

(10) what experiments his Department has carried out on Rocky Mountain spotted fever ; when this work was carried out ; what was the purpose of the work ; and when and under which defence agreements the results of this work were passed to the United States of America, Canada or Australia.

Mr. Hanley : These are matters for the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Porton Down--CBDE. I have asked the chief executive of CBDE to write to the hon. Member.

Letters from Graham S. Pearson to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 26 January 1994 :

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what tests and studies have been carried by the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down into binary reactant DF ; when these tests and studies were carried out ; and what was the assessment of these studies and tests (Question 9,


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Order Paper, 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the UK Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. As part of this work the potential hazard of possible chemical and biological warfare agents is assessed and the evaluation of British protective measures evaluated.

3. Some work was carried out in the late 1940s and early 1950s into methyl phosphonyl difluoride at the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Sutton Oak in a programme of work on unitary nerve agent precursors. The difluoride was subsequently used in mixtures with the dichloride in work at Nancekuke to prepare unitary nerve agents. No work has been carried out on DF as a binary reactant. More recently a limited study was carried out in 1993 to evaluate possible analytical techniques for DF as part of a programme examining the availability of the analytical techniques required to underpin the Chemical Weapons Convention.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking if all the tests for the human volunteer programme run by the chemical warfare establishments at Porton Down since 1964 have been carried out on service personnel alone ; and if all these tests have been conducted within the grounds of the establishments at either Porton Down or Nancekuke (Question 10, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the UK Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. In order to carry out this work, it is necessary to use service volunteers to :

a. assess the ability of service personnel to function with new equipment and procedures,

b. develop medical countermeasures to protect Service personnel and

c. evaluate the effects of very low and medically safe concentrations of CW agents on the ability of unprotected personnel to operate normally. No studies involving volunteers are carried out unless there is a clear military need and a detailed protocol has been reviewed and approved by an independent Ethics Committee in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Royal College of Physicians.

3. All studies for the human volunteer programme run by the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment since 1964 are carried out using Service volunteers only and the majority of the studies are conducted within the grounds of the Establishment ; a few are carried out at other military establishments. No Service volunteer studies have taken place at Nancekuke.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what work has been conducted since 1964 inside NHS hospitals by scientists from the Porton Down chemical and biological warfare establishment ; when this work was carried out ; if this work involved NHS patients ; what was the conclusion of the work ; if the results of the work were exchanged with the United States of America, Canada and Australia ; and in which publications the results were published (Question 13, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the UK Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. As part of this work the potential hazard of possible chemical and biological warfare agents is assessed and the evaluation of British protective measures evaluated.

3. In carrying out its programme, CBDE does work in conjunction with academic institutions and hospital departments generally involving an extramural research contract from CBDE. Occasionally, members of CBDE staff participate in the work at these academic institutions or hospitals. No records are maintained of such participation. The involvement of NHS patients would be a matter for the academic institution or hospital concerned.


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4. The results of work carried out in conjunction with academic institution and hospital departments forms part of the technology base drawn upon in collaboration with the United States of America, Canada and Australia. Our records do not indicate any publications involving work carried out inside NHS hospitals by scientists from CBDE.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what was the nature of the collaborative work studied by the members of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment who were stationed for an extended period at the counterpart US military establishments in Edgewood and Fort Detrick in Maryland in recent years ; and how much of this collaborative work has been published in open scientific literature (Question 16, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. I regret that our records do not provide this information in a readily accessible form. However I have consulted my staff and a small number of them have been stationed in recent years at either Edgewood or Fort Detrick. The nature of the collaborative work studied by members of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment was as follows :

(a) Detection of airborne microorganisms.

(b) Rapid identification of microorganisms by means of immunofluorescence.

(c) Theoretical studies into the penetration of protective suits by aerosol particles.

(d) Studies into the detection of chemical warfare agents focusing on the application of ion mobility spectrometry.

(e) Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling.

3. The published open literature that appeared as a result of this collaborative work was :

(a) PHILLIPS A. P., MORRIS B. C., HALL D., GLENISTER M. and WILLIAMS J. E. Identification of encapsulated and non-encapsulated Yersinia pestis by immunofluorescence tests using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Epidemiol Infect 101 : 59-73,1988. (

(b) PHILLIPS A. P. and EZZELL J. W. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by polyclonal antibodies against extracted vegetative cell antigens. J Appl Bacteriol 66 : 419-432, 1989.

(c) EICEMAN G. A., SNYDER A. P. and BLYTH D. A. Monitoring of airborne organic vapors using ion mobility spectrometry. Internat J Environ Anal Chem, 1990. Vol 38 part 3 pp 415-425.

(d) EICEMAN G. A., SNYDER A. P. and BLYTH D. A. Continuous atmospheric monitoring of organic vapors by ion mobility spectrometry. Instrumen Trace Org Monit, 1992.

(e) EICEMAN G. A., BLYTH D. A., SHOFF D. B. and SNYDER A. P. Screening of solid commercial pharmaceuticals using ion mobility spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 1990. Vol 62 part 14 pp 1374-1379.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what is the procedure for monitoring and checking on the health of service personnel who have been tested with chemical and biological warfare agents at Porton Down in the years following the tests ; for how many years after the tests check-ups are made ; how often the check-ups are made ; if this information is automatically made available to the doctors of the service personnel, whether requested or not ; and what changes have been made to this procedure since 1964 (Question 18, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the United Kingdom Armed Forces have effective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. In order to carry out this work, it is necessary to use service volunteers to :

(a) assess the ability of service personnel to function with new equipment and procedures,

(b) develop medical countermeasures to protect Service personnel and


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(c) evaluate the effects of very low and medically safe concentrations of CW agents on the ability of unprotected personnel to operate normally.

No studies involving volunteers are carried out unless there is a clear military need and a detailed protocol has been reviewed and approved by an independent Ethics Committee in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Royal College of Physicians.

3. The procedure in respect of Service volunteers is that on arrival at CBDE each volunteer is given a medical examination to see if they are fit for the proposed study. The nature of the study is explained to them and they are told that they may withdraw from the study without any explanation at any stage. At the end of the study they are given a second medical examination and the fact that they have participated at CBDE in a volunteer study is recorded on their medical records.

4. From time to time, Service volunteers have been recalled so that checks on their medical health can be made. There is no particular frequency or pattern to such recalls. In addition some volunteers return voluntarily to CBDE to take part in subsequent unrelated studies. There is no evidence that Service volunteers have had any deterioration in their health as a result of their participation as a volunteer in a human study.

5. Recently, the practice has been instituted in which all volunteers upon arrival at the Establishment have been read a lay statement by a military officer which states that "It is CBDE policy to call back some volunteer subjects for re-testing from time to time to ensure that the techniques used give consistent and reproducible results and that no changes in the way we apply the tests have occurred with time". The recall of any volunteers to CBDE is recorded on their medical records.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what was the conclusion of Porton Down's work on Coxiella Burnettii referred to in his Answer to the honourable Member of 16th July 1993, Official Report, column 714, in which years information from this research was exchanged with the United States of America ; and with which United States of America military establishment this information was exchanged (Question 19, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment. 2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the UK Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. As part of this work the potential hazard of possible chemical and biological warfare agents is assessed and the evaluation of British protective measures evaluated.

3. The work on Coxiella Burnettii has shown that a number of antibody reagents and gene probes could be produced which could be incorporated into test procedures for the indentification of the agent. This information was exchanged with the United States Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the US Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center (ERDEC) since the last 1980s.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking from which source the QL referred to in his reply of 16th July 1993, Official Report, column 712, was obtained, what was the conclusion of the study ; and if VX was produced as a result of the study into the transesterification process involving QL (Question 20, Order Paper 18 Janaury 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The QL was obtained from the United States of America and the conclusion of the study into the transesterification process confirmed that it was possible to produce VX from QL.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what studies and tests have been done by the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down to assess a nerve agent which penetrates skin and clothes quicker than the G agents and VX ; when these experiments were done ; and what was the conclusion of the assessment (Question 22, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the UK Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or


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biological weapons may be used against them. As part of this work the potential hazard of possible chemical and biological warfare agents is assessed and the evaluation of British protective measures evaluated.

3. Our records do not indicate that any tests or studies have been carried out by the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down to assess a nerve agent which penetrates the skin and clothing quicker than the G agents and VX.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking if he will make a statement on the considerations leading to the setting up by the Chemical and Biological Defence Board of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council of the new Biomedical Sciences Committee and Microbiology and Biotechnology Committee ; and if he will name the academic members of those committees (Question 23, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The Chemical and Biological Defence Board of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council has had three committees since the early 1980s : Physical Sciencies Committee, Life Sciences Committee and Medical Committee. In the late 1980s, an additional committee called the Biotechnology Committee was established under the Chemical and Biological Defence Board and was tasked to produce a report on the implications of biotechnology for defence. The Biotechnology Committee completed its work in early 1992. At the same time some of the activities of the Medical Committee were transferred to the CBDE Ethics Committee and the three committees of the Chemical and Biological Defence Board were reorganised into the Physical Science Committee, the Biomedical Sciences Committee and the Microbiology and Biotechnology Committee.

3. The individual independent members of these committees serve in a personal capacity and it would be inappropriate for the Ministry of Defence to name them.

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what experiments his Department has carried out on Rocky Mountain spotted fever ; when this work was carried out ; what was the purpose of the work ; and when and under which defence agreements the results of this work were passed to the United States of America, Canada or Australia (Question 25, Order Paper 18 January 1994) has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. We have no record that any work has been carried out at the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment or its precursor establishments into Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Chemical Weapons

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when was the last time the Ministry of Defence held discussions at a ministerial level with the United States of America concerning the production of chemical weapons ; where these meetings were held ; and who attended the meetings.

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the dates and locations of all the meetings between his Department and the United States Government since 1979 to discuss the renewed production of chemical weapons by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the United States of America.

Mr. Hanley : The United Kingdom abandoned its offensive chemical capability in the 1950s. Our policy emphasises the need for an effective defence against the use of chemical weapons and the implementation of international agreements on their control, destruction and eventual abolition. We have had a long-standing and continuing dialogue with the United States on a broad range of issues in the chemical warfare field, including in the 1980s United States plans to update their offensive


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chemical capability, which were subsequently cancelled by President Bush in May 1991. Details of all meetings where United States plans were discussed could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mutual Weapons Development Programme

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Britain and the United States of America set up the mutual weapons development programme ; what was the range of the programme ; why it was set up ; which United Kingdom Ministry of Defence establishments were involved ; and what is the current status of the programme.

Mr. Aitken : My Department is not aware of the mutual weapons development programme referred to by the hon. Member.

Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Mr. Nicolas Bevan, a former civil servant in his Department, has requested any special access to departmental documents in preparation for his appearance before the Scott inquiry.

Mr. Aitken : All current and former Ministry of Defence officials and Ministers called to give evidence to Lord Justice Scott's inquiry have been offered access to relevant departmental documents.

International Military Services Ltd.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all defence export sales by International Military Services Ltd. or any of its subsidiaries are subject to licensing ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Aitken : All exports of defence equipment by International Military Services Ltd. and its subsidiaries are subject to the normal export licensing requirements.

Exports

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Government defence export sales are currently subject to export licensing and which are not ; and what changes were made in this during the period after 1980.

Mr. Aitken : All Government defence exports have Crown status and are therefore not subject to export licensing requirements. They are, however, subject to the normal foreign and defence policy considerations.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether defence exports carried out as part of the successive

Government-to-Government agreements with Jordan and Saudi Arabia were subject to export licensing.

Mr. Aitken : Sales of defence equipment to Jordan under the memoranda of understanding signed in 1985 and 1987 were subject to the normal export licensing requirements. Exports of defence equipment to Saudi Arabia under the Al Yamamah arrangement have Crown status and are therefore not subject to export licensing requirements, although they are subject to the normal foreign and defence policy considerations. All other sales of defence equipment to Saudi Arabia are subject to the normal export licensing requirements.


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Mozambique (Assistance)

Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance the Government have given and will give to Mozambique to assist in clearing land mines.

Mr. Hanley : The Ministry of Defence has not to date assisted the Government of Mozambique with the clearance of land mines, and there are no current plans to provide this type of assistance. The United Nations operation in Mozambique has embarked on an extensive mine clearance project.

South Africa

Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance his Department is giving to South Africa, following requests, for help and advice in creating a multiracial peacekeeping force.

Mr. Hanley : The Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is actively considering with the parties involved how the United Kingdom might best help the process of creating integrated defence forces in South Africa. Any assistance must be at the request of the sub-council for Defence of the Transitional Executive Council in South Africa. The sub-council has approved the formation of a national peacekeeping force and has approached the Commonwealth Secretary- General for assistance to the force. The Government are giving urgent consideration to the request from the Secretary-General for British personnel to form part of a commonwealth advisory team.

Tank Imports

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what model is the tank imported from the Russian Federation in 1992, as listed in the United Nations register of conventional arms.

Mr. Hanley : The model is T-80U.

Search and Rescue

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what comparative study he has carried out into the search and rescue Sea Kings operating and support costs at RAF Chivenor and RAF Brawdy for each of the next five years, from 1 July 1994 ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will give his best estimate of the breakdown of operating and support costs for search and rescue Sea Kings from RAF Chivenor in the year commencing 1 August together with that of operating from RAF Brawdy in the same period.

Mr. Hanley :: I will write to the hon. Member.

Bases (Refurbishment)

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those bases which are being refurbished in the next three years ; and how much is being spent on each base.

Mr. Hanley : All defence establishments maintain a regular programme of maintenance work and, where necessary, new construction, both to maintain the operational effectiveness of the defence estate and to


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update facilities as defence needs change. Such planned refurbishment expenditure is the responsibility of individual budget holders ; information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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