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Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to maintain the existing maximum warhead ceiling for each Polaris submarine for the remainder of their operational deployment ;
(2) what is his policy regarding the maximum warhead ceiling on the United Kingdom's ballistic missile-carrying submarines during the transitional phase from Polaris to Trident.
Column 480remain in service. Each Trident submarine will deploy with no more than 96 warheads, and may carry significantly fewer.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from what sources military information is processed and analysed at the joint analysis centre at Molesworth ; and if he will give details of the modification work undertaken at the joint analysis centre at Molesworth.
Mr. Hanley : The role of the joint analysis centre is to process and analyse military information from a variety of sources. Modification of work undertaken for the JAC has involved the refurbishment of existing buildings at RAF Molesworth mostly to provide improved office accommodation for JAC support staff.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who operates the joint analysis centre at Molesworth ; what is the strategic relationship between the joint analysis centre at Molesworth and Menwith Hill station in Yorkshire ; how much the expansion of the joint analysis centre at Molesworth has cost : who has met the cost of the joint analysis centre at Molesworth ; and how the costs have been attributed.
Mr. Hanley : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 11 January 1994, Official Report, column 171. The joint analysis centre at RAF Molesworth is operated by the United States European Command. The cost of the JAC has been borne by the United States Government.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter landed in Mauchline Cross on the evening of 1 February ; if he will carry out an investigation into the incident with particular reference to the safety of local people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : During the evening of Tuesday 1 February 1994, a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Prestwick carried out a forced landing on the village green at Mauchline, due to severe weather conditions. An internal investigation has confirmed that the crew took the correct action, by seeking to land as soon as possible. A safe landing was conducted on the village green, clear of the surrounding buildings. Once on the ground, the crew took action to prevent members of the public from approaching the helicopter. The emergency services arrived shortly afterwards. The aircraft waited until the severe weather conditions had passed and then departed for Royal Naval Air Station Prestwick.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to publish a breakdown of the ethnic origins of serving personnel by regiment or unit ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : We intend to publish in "Defence Statistics" a breakdown of the ethnic origins of members of the armed forces by service and rank. The publication of statistics by regiment or unit will be subject to further consideration.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has provided to the United Nations standby forces planning team ; and what requests have been made by the planning team.
Mr. Hanley : The United Nations standby forces planning team has asked United Nations member states to consider proposals for identifying forces capable of deployment at short notice that would potentially be available to take part in the initial stages of United Nations peacekeeping operations. A formal response will be made shortly.
Mr. Hanley : As a matter of sensible contingency arrangements, the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment will, on present plans, commence extra training on 27 February to ensure it is fully prepared for a deployment to Bosnia to relieve 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in April-May, if such a decision is taken.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total maintenance backlog of (a) unavoidable and essential repairs and (b) urgent repairs on the defence estate at 1 April in each year from 1980 to 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to identify those combat engineering units and military lawyers that could be made available to the United Nations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : We conduct a regular dialogue with the United Nations secretariat to ensure that it has a clear picture of all the capabilities the United Kingdom has to offer. We are willing to consider requests from the United Nations for any of these, case by case, in the light of other commitments and priorities.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 January, Official Report, column 344, what are the names, ranks, and functions of the five military personnel attached to the United Nations secretariat ; and if the two officers that were in principle made available to the United Nations are currently attached to the United Nations.
Lieutenant Commander Highett--Logistics
Major Clifford--Situation Centre
Major Goddard--Field Finance
Major Hunter--Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Staff Sergeant Butcher--Situation Centre
The two additional officers made available in principle have not yet taken up posts at the United Nations.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if any non-Ministry of Defence sources have been used to finance the purchase of items of ceremonial uniforms ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department received a copy of the United States Army document entitled "FM 100-23 Peace Operations"; and what assessment he has made of it.
Mr. Hanley : We are aware that the United States Army has in preparation a manual concerning the conduct of peace support operations. This document remains in draft form and it would in any case be inappropriate to comment.
Mr. Hanley : The British Army produced in 1988 a document on doctrine entitled "Peacekeeping Operations". A new, complementary manual, taking account of recent developments in peacekeeping, is at an advanced stage of preparation.
Mr. Hanley : The plan to implement the concept of safe areas is a matter for the UN and the UN Secretary General's report S/25939 of 14 June 1993 detailed how this might be done. The Secretary General's report was endorsed and authorised in the UN Security Council by the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 844 of 19 June 1993.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his French and Spanish counterparts about the implementation of the proposed safe areas in Bosnia ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence is in regular contact with his French and Spanish counterparts about all aspects of our military deployments in former Yugoslavia.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates the three batches of information collated from interviews with refugees from Bosnia were sent to the United Nations War Crimes Commission.
Mr. Hanley : The three batches of information were dispatched to the United Nations War Crimes Commission by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 30 September 1993 ; 19 October 1993 ; and 21 January 1994.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 January, Official Report, column 343, what arrangements will be made to ensure that the proposed housing trust will have an adequate level of finance for capital expenditure on the married quarters estate.
Mr. Hanley : An independent survey of the married quarters estate has been carried out and the proposed housing trust will draw up its business plan taking into account the findings of the survey. This will form a key element in the trust's funding requirement when it approaches the market.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the attendance of the band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at a Conservative party function at Ayton, Berwickshire in January ; and what was the cost to public funds of the band performance.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will show for each military hospital disposed of since 1988 (a) the purchaser, (b) the new use of the site, (c) the estimated value of the site before sale and (d) the sale price.
About half the former hospital comprising 7.26 acres of the total 63 ace site has been sold to the Cambridge health authority, now Lifespan Health Care Trust, and is currently in use as a community hospital. Approximately 23 acres have been transferred to the United States Air Force and the balance of the site, some 32 acres, is currently for sale on the open market.
Details of the site value prior to sale and the sale price are commercial in confidence.
Mr. Hanley : My Department is required to obtain the best possible price for all sales of surplus MOD property ; in the case of military hospitals, this may be achieved by sale to another healthcare provider. Discussions are well under way on the terms of sale of Queen Elizabeth Military hospital in Woolwich to the Greenwich healthcare trust.
Mr. Waldegrave : The procedures followed by the Duchy solicitor in tracing surviving relatives of those dying intestate in the county Palatine are the same as those followed by the Treasury solicitor. Extensive inquiries are made of the local authority, of neighbours and of any other likely source. If these fail to identify kin, advertisements are placed in the press.
When there is reason to believe that the deceased might have surviving relatives in a foreign country, inquiries are made through that country's accredited representative in the United Kingdom and, if recommended, advertisements placed in the newspapers of that country.
Following inaccurate accounts of this procedure in the media, the Duchy solicitor wrote to the secretaries of all law societies within the county Palatine. He set out the procedure in detail, and reminded them of the policy of the Duchy authorities sympathetically to consider applications for ex-gratia payments on stated grounds to those who did not qualify for benefit under the law.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many estates under the intestacy provisions in the County Palatine passed to the Duchy in each of the last five years ; and how many devolved, after investigation, to surviving blood relatives.
Column 485Administration of Estates Act 1925 and whose assets devolved to the Duchy--no qualifying kin having been traced--are as follows :
|Number ---------------------- 1988-89 |437 1989-90 |455 1990-91 |488 1991-92 |380 1992-93 |357
During the same period, the number of estates which were reported to the solicitor but for whom qualifying kin were identified and to whom the assets devolved were as follows :
|Number ---------------------- 1988-89 |24 1989-90 |31 1990-91 |22 1991-92 |34 1992-93 |34
It should be noted that in many cases of intestacy, qualifying relatives were identified prior to the matter being reported to the Duchy solicitor and are dealt with accordingly. The tables therefore do not reflect the proportion of estates within the county Palatine which devolve to the Duchy on the one hand or to qualifying kin on the other.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for each of the past five years, how much was spent on legal fees in attempts to trace surviving relatives of those who had died intestate in the Duchy.
Mr. Waldegrave : There is no breakdown of costs available for the execution of the Duchy solicitor's duties under the Administration of Estates Act 1925 and the Companies Act 1985. However, the costs of placing advertisements for kin in newspapers over the last five years totalled £114,576-8.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the date of publication of the citizens charter first annual report ; what will be the date of publication of the citizens charter second annual report ; and what periods of time he plans to cover in future annual reports.
Mr. Waldegrave : The first report on progress in implementing the citizens charter was published on 25 November 1992 ; the second will be published during March 1994. No decision has been taken on the date of future reports. There is no commitment to report annually.
Column 486Its role is to review public services' complaints systems ; and to advise on their effectiveness, and on any further measures necessary to improve the ways in which public services respond to complaints. The task force is chaired by Lady Wilcox, chairman of the National Consumer Council, with six other members drawn from the public and private sectors.
In October 1993, the task force published its booklet, "Effective Complaints Systems : Principles and Checklist", which offers all public service organisations an opportunity to test the effectiveness of their own complaints systems. The booklet is available from the House of Commons Library.
The task force will shortly publish an interim report to Ministers, which will also be distributed widely to public services and other interested organisations.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 19 January, Official Report, column 697, how many Christmas cards he and his Ministers sent out in 1993 ; and at what cost.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answers of 2 February, Official Report, column 789, what is the value of the contract to run the Charterline pilot scheme ; if the service contract to operate the Charterline pilot scheme was awarded to the lowest bidder ; how many calls have been dealt with by Charterline pilot scheme in its first nine months of operation ; how much has been spent, in total, on the operation and promotion of the Charterline pilot scheme ; if the provision of uniforms worn by staff answering telephones at the Charterline offices at Havant was a condition of the contract ; and what is the cost per telephone call dealt with by Charterline.
Mr. David Davis : The service contract to operate Charterline pilot scheme is of no fixed value. The cost is dependent on the number of Charterline calls made. The service was awarded to the bidder that was judged to offer a high quality value for money service. Over 5,300 calls have been received to date. Total set-up costs amount to £1,251,000. These include initial research, project planning and management, system design, contractual advice and data collection, which are all one-off costs. On-going costs to date amount to £1,033,136. These include paid advertising, research during the pilot study, set up and use of ACORN data- -to provide public service organisations with information about callers'
backgrounds--operational costs, and set up and operation of the Charterline language service, which is available in Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
The provision of uniforms worn by staff answering Charterline telephone calls was not a condition of the contract.
The cost per call to date is £70, if calculated on the basis of operational costs. The set-up and operational costs of a pilot study are always relatively high. If call volumes were higher, significant economies of scale could be achieved.
Column 487In the event that the project is extended to a national or other basis, the cost per call figures would be greatly reduced.
Mr. P. Adams OBE ; Mr. A. Bennett ; Mr. M. S. Buckley ; Mrs. C. Coltman ; Mr. K. Crowley ; Miss P. Downs (Chairman) ; Mr. W. J. Edmunds BEM ; Miss B. Findlay ; Mr. M. T. Foulkes ; Mr. W. M. Francis BEM ; Mr. J. H. Gracey CB ; Mr. T. W. Hall ; Mr. G. Harpin ; Mr. R. M. Hastie-Smith CB ; Mr. P. D. Jones (Deputy Chairman) ; Miss J. Kelley CB ; Mr. R. W. King BEM ; Mr. N. F. Ledsome CB ; Mrs. S. P. Maunsell ; Mr. N. E. A. Moore ; Mr. R. W. Morgan ; Mrs. M. Morrison OBE ;
Column 488Mr. J. Nicholson ; Mr. P. Palmer ; Mr. J. Pennington ; Ms E. A. Rees ; Mr. J. Renton ; Mr. M. Ridout ; Mr. J. Roberts CB ; Mrs. M. B. Sloman ; Mr. A. Smith ; Mr. A. Stem ; Mr. J. W. Stevens CB (Deputy Chairman) ; Mr. N. Tout BEM.
The right hon. the Lord Carlisle of Bucklow QC--Chairman The right hon. Sir Patrick Nairne GCB MC--Deputy Chairman The Lord Bridges GCMG
Sir Trevor Holdsworth
Sir Charles Huxtable KCB CBE
Sir Robin Ibbs KBE
The right hon. the Lord Merlyn-Rees
The right hon. the Lord Thomson of Monifieth KT