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Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what communications he has had with the nuclear transport licensing authorities regarding the temporary use of commercial containers to transport used submarine nuclear reactor cores.
Mr. Aitken : The contract to procure two commercial containers to transport used submarine nuclear reactor cores requires the contractor to provide the containers fully licensed for the purpose required. As such the request and approval of a licence is a matter between the contractor and the nuclear licensing authority.
Mr. Aitken : It is not our general policy to disclose details of the role and function of individual buildings at Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston. Howevever, manufacture of a variety of components and assemblies not being transferred to building A90 will continue to be produced in A45.
Mr. Aitken : On 24 March 1994 during planned maintenance in a laboratory a quantity of radioactive material was disturbed. Monitoring of protective clothing worn by the two individuals involved revealed that there was slight radioactive contamination on their overshoes. Subsequent monitoring by AWE medical staff has confirmed that the two individuals received radiation dose levels equivalent to a small fraction of the annual permissible dose limit. External monitoring outside the building has confirmed that there was no release of radioactive material into the environment. As part of normal procedure the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.
Mr. Aitken : The safety of all buildings at AWE Aldermaston, including A45, is under constant review. A full safety assessment of building A45 was conducted in late 1988 and further safety reviews of the facility have been carried out at regular intervals.
Mr. Hanley : There are two types of 155 mm ammunition currently in use with the British Army. They are the United States designed M107 and the European designed--United Kingdom/Germany/Italy L15. Although records of usage are not available for the period in question, it is estimated that some 44,000 L15 rounds have been used since 1990 and some 223,000 M107 rounds since 1985.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the cost to public funds which would be incurred by uprating all service pensions in payment to the level of such pensions awarded today.
Mr. Hanley : Mr. David Hart is one of a number of advisors from outside the Ministry of Defence who provide informal advice to the Secretary of State, and who are involved in the work of the defence cost study. These outsiders may see classified papers under strictly controlled arrangements where this is directly relevant to the work they are doing. Such advisors have no independent call on the facilities and resources of the Department, although they do discuss matters with Departmental officials.
Mr. Aitken : The British Offset Office has arranged two high-level visits to Saudi Arabia to promote Al Yamamah Offset. The members of the first delegation, which visited from 16-21 February 1990, were : Mr. Roy AllenICI
Mr. Cedric BrownBritish Gas
Sir James CraigSaudi British Bank
Mr. Alec DalyGKN
Sir Ronald GriersonGEC
Mr. George Moody-StuartBooker Tate
Mr. Alan NickallsNEI International Ltd.
Mr. Gilbert PhillipsPilkington
Mr. Michael RouseBritish Aerospace
Mr. Richard TurnerSTC
The second delegation visited from 3 to 9 May 1991. Its members were :
Column 505Mr. Richard BarnesBritish Aerospace
Mr. Tony BelisarioDowty Defence and Air Systems
Mr. Antony BruceJohn Brown
The Hon. David Douglas-HomeMorgan Grenfell International Mr. John ElliottBurmah Castrol
Mr. John HillWessex Water
Mr. John LawrenceThorn Security
Mr. Jake StewartBritish Steel
Dr. Brian TempestGlaxo
Mr. Damien TurnerBritish Aerospace
Mr. Peter UsherVosper Thornycroft UK
In addition the British Offset Office organises ad hoc visits to Saudi Arabia for companies as required.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the membership of the British Offset Committee in each year that committee has existed, together with the principal business interest of the private sector members.
Sir Colin Chandler--Head of Defence Export Services, MOD
The Hon. David Douglas-Home--(Morgan Grenfell International Ltd) representing COMET--Mr. Alan Titchener
DTI--Dr. Maurice Dixson--British Aerospace
Dr. David Mitchell--Rolls Royce
Mr. Philip Curry--MOD
The following changes to membership took place at subsequent meetings.
Mr. John Weston (British Aerospace) replaced Dr. Dixson. Mr. Colin Craig (Schroder Asseily) joined the Committee ; Mr. Curry (MOD) left the Committee.
Mr. Ian Dixon (DTI) replaced Mr. Titchener.
Mr. Richard Spink (FCO) joined the Committee.
Sir Alan Thomas (MOD) replaced Sir Colin Chandler.
The Hon. David Gore-Booth (MOD) joined the Committee.
Mr. Michael Rouse (BAe) replaced Mr. Weston.
Mr. Petter (DTI) replaced Mr. Dixon.
Mr. Michael Janner (MOD) replaced Mr. Richard Spink.
Mr. Damien Turner (British Aerospace) replaced Mr. Rouse. September 1992
Mr. John Hill (Saudi British Bank) replaced The Hon. David Douglas-Home as representative of COMET.
Dr. Noel Brehony (Rolls Royce) replaced Dr. Mitchell.
Mr. Ian Cliff (DTI) replaced Mr. Petter.
Mr. David Hewitson (British Aerospace) replaced Mr. Turner.
Missile Engineering Facility
Rolls Royce participation in the Middle East Propulsion Company Oil seed manufacture
Column 506Materials handling systems
Lightweight marble and granite manufacture
Water treatment equipment
In addition, the following projects have commenced implementation :
Glaxo pharmaceutical plant
Tate and Lyle sugar refinery
Vocational training facility
British Aerospace participation in Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC)
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what links exist between the Offset Office and the Export Credits Guarantee Department ; and whether approval under the offset programme is always accompanied by Export Credits Guarantee Department approval.
Mr. Aitken : The British Offset Office was set up in 1987. It forms part of the Saudi Armed Forces Project Office in the Ministry of Defence, the costs of which are met by the Government of Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Wiggin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the flights on which seats were for sale to civilians to and from the Falkland Islands in 1992 and 1993 and to date in 1994, and which arrived either at RAF Mount Pleasant or at RAF Brize Norton more than two hours late.
|1992 |1993 |<1>1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Number of flights with seats for sale to civilians |92 |80 |21 Number delayed by two hours or more |23 |13 |5 <1>To date.
Information on the number of flights from the Falkland Islands arriving at RAF Brize Norton more than two hours late is not recorded centrally and figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Because of the length of the route, the unpredictable weather in the Falkland Islands and the limitations of en-route services such as air traffic control, a greater level of delays can be expected on the United Kingdom to Falkland Islands route than on many more widely used routes.
Mr. Hanley : As is made clear in the terms of reference for this independent review, set out in my answer to the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Dr. Goodson-Wickes) on 30 March, Official Report, columns 752-53, the primary purpose is not cost cutting but to ensure that we have structures appropriate to the needs of the services in the 21st century. No estimate has therefore been made of the scope for any savings but the independent review is, naturally, also required to identify the resource implications of its proposals and to seek to contribute to the reduction over the longer term of the overall resource cost of manpower.