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Mr. Hanley : A minor consultancy to advise on the scope of the independent review of service career and manpower structures and terms and conditions of service, and on the interrelationships between the different aspects of the review, has already reported. The matter of what further consultancy assistance may be required is primarily one for the review chairman, but my Department is making arrangements to ensure that such assistance can be commissioned at short notice as and when requirements are identified.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what opportunities will exist for United Kingdom citizens including serving or former members of the armed forces involved in Operation Granby in the Gulf war in 1991, to claim for damages for deleterious health effects from the United Nations Compensation Committee.
Mr. Hanley : The United Nations Compensation Commission--UNCC--will consider, against established criteria, claims from United Kingdom citizens suffering from deleterious health effects directly caused by Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait between 2 August 1990 and 2 March 1991. It will require evidence to show that there is a direct causative link between the symptoms of the claimant and the Gulf conflict.
This right to claim extends to members of the allied coalition armed forces, who were prisoners of war and whose loss or injury resulted from mistreatment in violation of the international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Most of the British prisoners of war held captive during the Gulf conflict have put in claims, as have members of the British liaison team, and their dependents, who were in Kuwait at the time of the invasion.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he intends to reply to the letter from CND which was handed in following the demonstration on 15 March at Porton Down ; and if he will place a copy of his reply in the Library.
Mr. Hanley : This is a matter for the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Graham Pearson to Ken Livingstone, dated 19 April 1994 :
1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking when he intends to reply to the letter from CND which was handed in following the demonstration on 15 March 1994 at Porton Down has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.
2. There was no demonstration at Porton Down on 15 March 1994 when two representatives of the Salisbury Branch of CND visited the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment on 16 March 1994 to mark the anniversary of the use of chemical weapons on the civilian population of Hallabja. They were invited into the Establishment and handed over a letter dated 16 March 1994 addressed to myself as Director General.
3. I replied to the letter on 8 April 1994 and am making arrangements for a copy to be placed in the Library.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the current amount of money in the Gulf Trust ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what criteria are used to determine whether or not payments are made from the Gulf Trust ; and if he will make a statement ; (3) how much money was received and paid out by the Gulf Trust in (a) 1990-91, (b) 1991-92, (c 1992-93 and (d) 1993-94 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(4) what consideration he has given to seeking to alter the criteria under which payments are made from the Gulf Trust ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence will write to the hon. Member.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. Morgan), Official Report, columns 473-74, if he will list those contractors that have quality management system certifications which have been (a) subject to assessment by his Department or (b) can be shown to be acceptable to the corresponding ministry in another NATO country.
Mr. Aitken : Approximately 1,000 United Kingdom defence contractors hold quality system certification following assessment by MOD. They are listed in the "United Kingdom Register of Quality Assessed Companies" maintained and issued by the Department of Trade and Industry. The DTI register also identifies those United Kingdom contractors who hold quality system certification granted by third party certification bodies holding appropriate accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies.
Each NATO MOD is responsible for identifying contractors with acceptable quality management systems, details of which are available to United Kingdom MOD, on request.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent his staff have been involved in United Nations contingency planning for United Nations sanctioned operations in Rwanda ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : Ministry of Defence staff have not been involved in United Nations contingency planning sanctioned operations in Rwanda.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) his NATO counterparts, and (b) his UN counterparts relating to the situation in Rwanda ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has not had any discussions with either his NATO or UN counterparts relating to the situation in Rwanda.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what problems have arisen in the contract awarded to Airworks plc to fit defensive systems to Hercules aircraft ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : Varying degrees of minor repairable damage was caused to 11 Hercules aircraft ; rectification will be complete shortly, at the contractor's expense, and no long-term operational or airworthiness concerns are likely to arise from this problem.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number and nature of current contracts his Department has with Airworks plc ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Aitken : My Department currently has some 41 contracts with Airworks plc. Details of the subject matter of all those contracts are not held centrally. However, the company is recognised as a supplier of a wide range of services, such as repair, maintenance, modification and ancillary tasks, in support of aircraft, rotorcraft, simulators and training aids, radio, radar, electronics, avionics and test equipment.
Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out for each service the annual targets for recruitment in 1993-94 of officers and other ranks and the extent to which these targets have been achieved.
Mr. Hanley [holding answer 14 February 1994] : The recruiting targets for the year ending 5 April 1994, and achievements in recruitment up to January 1994, the latest date for which figures are available, are as follows :
|Target |Achieved |Percentage |achieved ---------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Navy Officers Officers |478 |285 |60 Other ranks |1,439 |928 |64 Army Officers |1,005 |664 |65 Other ranks |8,992 |6,702 |75 Royal Air Force Officers |328 |235 |72 Other ranks |696 |537 |77
Mr. Braizier : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the Territorial Army to contribute to operational commitments undertaken by the regular Army.
Mr. Rifkind : Further to my announcement of 17 June 1993, Official Report, columns 1009-11, we plan to deploy a Territorial Army platoon in support of the regular Army in the Falkland Islands from July to November this year and a TA company as part of the Falkland Islands garrison from March to July next year. Both deployments will represent a pilot scheme to test the use of the TA in this way and will, if successful, facilitate the wider use of our volunteer reserves in circumstances short of war.