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Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the Government's policy on the European Commission's proposed directive on the introduction of measures aimed at promoting improvements in the travel conditions of workers with motor disabilities.
Mr. Freeman : The Government position is set out in the explanatory memoranda of 17 April and 3 June 1991, which relate to the original proposal--4315/91 COM(90) 588 FINAL--and of 16 October 1991 on the amended proposal--4113/92 COM(91) 539 FINAL. Copies of those documents have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Etherington : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many people have had their vehicle excise duty exemption on disabled persons' vehicles cancelled due to improper use for each year since 1989 ;
(2) what was the total number and percentage of claims for VED exemption which have been refused an exemption certificate for each year since 1989 ;
(3) what was the total number of VED discs issued to disabled persons in (i) the 1976 scheme, (ii) Motability component and (iii) passengers getting disability living allowance or pre-attendance allowance for each year since 1989 ;
(4) if he will give the number of people successfully prosecuted for the improper use of VED exemptions on disabled persons' vehicles for each year since 1989.
Mr. Robert Key : No record is maintained for the number of disabled people with an entitlement to exemption from VED which is cancelled because of improper use or the number of prosecutions carried out because of improper use of a vehicle exempted under the provision. In both instances, however, the number is likely to be very small. No statistics are available on the number of unsuccessful applications for certificates of exemption from VED.
The total number of vehicles licensed under the disabled exemption was 320,000 in 1989, 380,000 in 1990, 420,000 in 1991, 470,000 in 1992 and 560,000 in 1993. There is no breakdown of these by category.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials at grade 7 or above who have left his Department in the past five years now hold directorships in any companies holding contracts for the construction of roads or which are significant suppliers to them.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Department will carry out full consultations with the unions over staff surpluses in line with section 34 of the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993.
Mr. Norris : If a potential redundancy situation occurs, full consultation with the trade unions will take place, in line with the provisions of section 34 of the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what records he has of loss of hearing experienced by Royal Air Force personnel working in the vicinity of (a) four-engined Vulcan bombers and (b) other aircraft which are landing or taking off ; and what steps were taken (i) in 1964 onwards and (ii) currently to prevent any such hearing loss.
Mr. Hanley : Although general medical statistics relating to noise- induced hearing loss among Royal Air Force personnel have been maintained since 1979, it is not possible to identify from these the source of the noise exposure responsible. Central records are not held of personnel who have experienced loss of hearing from working in the vicinity of Vulcan Bombers or other aircraft.
Where there is a risk of noise induced hearing loss, the RAF has for many years made provision to prevent such loss by reducing the noise at source or by providing a barrier between source and receiver, such as hearing protectors, and by limiting exposure. A formal hearing conservation programme was introduced in 1970, and current service regulations are based on the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.
Mr. Hanley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence met representatives of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on 21 February 1994 to discuss and agree our contribution to the Commission's budget for 1994-95. There are no plans for further meetings to discuss this year's funding.
Commission staff would normally advise member nations of their funding requirement for 1995-96 in October. This will then be discussed by the commission's finance committee, on which my Department is represented.
Column 528KPMG Peat Marwick, (b) Touche Ross, (c) Price Waterhouse, (d) Ernst and Young, (e) CSL, (f) Prime, (g) Basis, (h) Theodore Goddard, (i) Dibb Lupton Broomhead, (j) Capita and (k) Shreeveport to his Department ; and if he will list any other firms which have provided consultancy work and the costs to public funds for each of the last five years.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tenders his Department received in response to the invitation issued in March for a pre-feasibility study contract on ballistic missile defence ; and when he expects to announce the award of the contract.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what matters in regard to counter-proliferation strategies for the alliance were discussed at the NATO ministerial meeting held in Brussels on 24 and 25 May.
Mr. Hanley : I refer the hon. Member to the communique published following the ministerial meeting of the NATO defence planning committee. An overall policy framework for NATO's approach to proliferation was also released following a meeting of the North Atlantic council on 9 May. Copies of both documents will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to publish his departmental guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information, as promised at paragraph 3(ii) of the code issued on 4 April ; and what has been the cause of the delay in publishing the departmental guidance.
Mr. Hanley : My Department's internal guidance on the implementation of the code of practice has been freely available since 4 April, and may be obtained by either writing to my Department or telephoning the Ministry of Defence public inquiry office on 071-218-6645. I am also placing a copy in the Library of the House.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total Royal Air Force complement for (a) qualified flying instructors, (b) weapons instructors and (c) other aircrew instructors (i) at operational conversion units, (ii) on operational squadrons and (iii) elsewhere.
|Operational |Operational |Elsewhere |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Qualified flying instructors |87 |49 |371 |507 Qualified weapons instructors |39 |39 |37 |115 Other aircrew instructors |224 |37 |162 |423
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the name and rank of Treasury officials on each of the defence costs study working groups on which the Treasury was represented ; and what are the numbers of visits paid and formal meetings held by those teams.
Mr. Aitken : The Treasury has been represented on each of the 33 defence costs study teams. Treasury personnel involved, their rank and studies--as listed at pages 78 and 79 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates, 1994--with which they were associated are as follows : Mr. P. Brook, grade 7--security ; Ms V. Carpenter, SEO--estate and property ; Mr. M. Davis, SEO--non-operational information systems ; Mr. R. Devereux, grade 5--Procurement Executive--projects and practices ; Procurement Executive-- organisation and function ; naval infrastructure ; training ; Mr. M. Donnelly, grade 5--market testing/contracting out ; training ; Navy management structure and manning ; Army management structure and manning ; RAF management, structure and manning ; defence intelligence and minor studies ; Mr. L. Palmer, grade 7--MOD police ; research and development ; Miss A. Perkins, grade 3--MOD head office ; HQs, service command and TLB structure ; repair, spares, storage and distribution ; Ms H. Tierney, grade 7--financial management ; and Mr. P. White, grade 7--recruiting and manning ; medical. There is no central record of all the visits paid and meetings held by the defence costs study teams and such information could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Aitken : The proposals emerging from the work of the defence costs study, the broad outcome of which I hope to announce in July, will be subject to consultation in the normal manner. That consultation process will be supported by the publication of all relevant cost information.
Mr. Hanley : Detailed internal work continues on the implementation of our plans to locate the single military rescue co-ordination centre at Pitreavie. The defence costs study is, however, looking at all support functions and defence sites across the country, including this one.
Mr. Aitken : Defence facilities in all parts of the country have been examined in the defence costs study. We plan to make an announcement on the outcome in July. However, I envisage a continuing role for defence facilities in the Forth area.
Mr. Hanley : The current redundancy programme began in the financial year 1992-93. In that year, redundancy payments of £232 million were made, followed by payments of £509 million in the financial year 1993- 94.
These payments include special capital payments, and early payment of terminal grants, commuted pension payments and the first year's payment of immediate pensions.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the expenditure ceiling contained in the memorandum of understanding agreement signed with Jordan on 28 November 1979 was reached ; and how these matters were reported to Parliament.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Royal Ordnance acted as a supplier, whether directly or through a Government defence export agency, to PRB of Belgium in the period from January 1981 to January 1985.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what date, and for which category of export, or for which destination, Royal Ordnance, Defence Export Services Organisation, and companies and agencies linked to the MOD, had Crown status, or were exempt from export licence controls.
Mr. Aitken : All exports made by the Crown have Crown status. These are exports from any Government Department including exports through or by the sales supply organisation of the Defence Export Services
Column 531Organisation. Where Royal Ordnance exports were not conducted through the sales supply organisation, they required an export licence.
Exports with Crown status are subject to the same foreign and defence policy considerations as those requiring an export licence. It is not Government policy to provide specific details of defence exports.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total value of sales made by Royal Ordnance directly through the defence exports sales supply division of his Department between January 1981 and January 1985.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who is the legal custodian of the books and records of International Military Services Ltd., its subsidiaries and former subsidiaries ; and whether the advice of the Treasury solicitors has been sought or offered on this point.
Mr. Aitken : International Military Services Ltd. is the legal custodian of its books and records, which it keeps in accordance with company law. I am not aware of any advice on this point from the Treasury solicitor.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the training, command and control, logistic support and financial arrangements for the New Zealand company group to be deployed with British forces in the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Hanley : The New Zealand Government authorised last month the deployment of a company group in support of UNPROFOR. We welcome this and have agreed that the company group should be attached to one of the British Army battalions serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are still discussing with the New Zealand Government the details of the attachment and the level of assistance which will be provided to their contingent.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 24 May, Official Report , column 108 , how many squadrons of 1 Royal Tank Regiment participated in Exercise First Crusade.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contact (a) Defence Exports Services Organisation and (b) the Malaysian project office had with Mr. Stephan Adolphus Kock concerning defence sales to Malaysia during the period 1985 to 1990.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many job offers were reported by staff in his Department under the requirements of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years by (a) staff of grade 3 and above, (b) staff below grade 3, (c) staff in sections concerned with procurement or contract work, under section 15 of the rules of 1 February 1993 and (d) staff in other sections, under section 14 ; and how many of these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.
Dr. Hampson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 30 March, Official Report, column 996, what has been the result of his inquiries in relation to a bid for Swan Hunter ; and what assessment he has made of business links between Triacorp International and Mr. Barzan al Takriti.
Mr. Aitken : Information provided to my Department by CMN is being routinely assessed. These matters are commercially confidential to the company concerned, but one of the main considerations will be the ability of Swan Hunter and its prospective purchasers to satisfy our stated requirements in their bid responses in competitions for MOD work.
If my hon. Friend has any information which he believes would be of help to my Department in making its assessment, I should be grateful if he would pass it to me.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when was the last inspection made at National Security Agency, Molesworth under the terms of the intermediate nuclear forces treaty ; when the last arrest was made at RAF Molesworth under the base byelaws ; and how many breaches of security there have been at RAF Molesworth over the last 18 months.
Mr. Hanley : The last inspection at RAF Molesworth under the terms of the INF treaty was in December 1992. There have been no arrests under the byelaws at RAF Molesworth since 1990. The Ministry of Defence police have attended 12 security incidents at Molesworth in the last 18 months.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the role of the National Security Agency of America in the management of the joint analysis centre at Molesworth ; how much the expansion of the joint analysis centre at Molesworth has cost and who has paid for this ; if the hazardous waste stored at National Security Agency, Molesworth is from American bases in the United Kingdom ; and if there are polychlorine benzines stored at this facility.
Column 533The cost of all works associated with the construction of this facility has been borne by the United States Government. The Defense Reutilisation and Marketing Organization is responsible for the resale or disposal of all United States Government property in the United Kingdom which is surplus to requirements. It operates a central collection facility at RAF Molesworth for the temporary storage of hazardous material. All electrical equipment received by the DRMO is tested for polychlorinated biphenyls. If they are found in concentrations exceeding legal limits, the material is disposed of through approved United Kingdom contractors.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the byelaw relating to RAF Molesworth are not used against intruders ; what instructions have been issued to Ministry of Defence Police on arresting under RAF Molesworth byelaws or other similar byelaws ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : How MOD police deal with intruders will depend on the nature of the incident. Normally, the MDP will first ask those concerned to leave MOD property. Anyone who refuses to do so will be escorted from the property using the minimum force necessary to effect their removal. Where appropriate, offenders may be arrested and reported for breach of byelaws. If other offences are committed, such as criminal damage, the MDP make arrests accordingly.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who authorised the arrest and detention of Ms Lindis Percy, of Bradford, when she entered RAF Chicksands in Bedfordshire on Thursday 19 May ; who authorised her detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts ; who summoned the Bedfordshire police to attend ; who authorised the release of Ms Percy without charge ; how long she was held in detention ; how many British and American personnel concerned in her arrest and detention were armed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements, in addition to the agreement regarding the status of forces of parties to the North Atlantic treaty of 1951, have been made between Her Majesty's Government and the United States of America concerning Menwith Hill station.
Mr. Hanley : The site at Menwith Hill has been made available to the United States visiting forces and their civilian component in accordance with the agreement regarding the status of forces of parties to the North Atlantic treaty of 1951 and other arrangements appropriate to the relationship which exists between the United Kingdom and United States for the purposes of our common defence. It is not our practice to comment on the detail of such agreements.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the role of the National Security Agency of America in running Menwith Hill station in North Yorkshire ; how many people working at Menwith Hill station are employed by the NSA, and who employs the chief of Menwith Hill station.
Mr. Hanley : The US air force will leave RAF Chicksands by the end of September 1995. RAF Chicksands is a US Department of Defence communications centre managed by the United States air force. It is not our policy to comment in further detail on operational matters.
|Number --------------------------------------- Royal Navy/Royal Marines |56 Army |33 Royal Air Force |26
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the reduction in the ship's complement on Her Majesty's royal yacht Britannia that could result from refitting with modern engines ;
(2) what are the estimated annual cost savings if Her Majesty's royal yacht Britannia is re-engined.
Mr. Hanley : If Her Majesty's yacht Britannia were to be re-engined, it would be necessary also to replace or refurbish other obsolescent equipments and systems. This could possibly save up to £2 million per annum in running costs, including a reduction in the ship's complement of around 75 posts. The capital costs of such work is, however, likely to be substantial.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what part Her Majesty's royal yacht Britannia will be playing in the D-day commemorations ; and what alternative vessels have been designated in the event of non-operational availability.
Column 535channel on Sunday 5 June. This included carrying members of the royal family and visiting Heads of State in a review of ships at anchor off Spithead, leading a wreath-laying ceremony in mid-channel and crossing to Ouistreham. No alternative vessel was designated.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the authorised establishment of the Ministry of Defence police for each of the last five years ; and what is its proposed establishment for each of the next five years.