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Defence Spending

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the latest figures available for defence spending as a percentage of gross domestic product for each of the members of the NATO alliance and the same figures for the year 1985.


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Mr. Hanley : Details of NATO countries' defence expenditures in 1993 as a percentage of gross domestic product, are contained in the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1994", Cm 2550. Corresponding figures for 1985 are set out in the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1986", Cm 9736-I. Copies of both documents are in the Library of the House.

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list, at 1993-94 prices, the total for United Kingdom defence spending for each year since 1970 including the planned total for 1994-95.

Mr. Hanley : The information is as follows :


        |£000         

----------------------

1970-71 |16,467       

1971-72 |17,015       

1972-73 |18,815       

1973-74 |19,668       

1974-75 |21,387       

1975-76 |22,193       

1976-77 |22,524       

1977-78 |21,872       

1978-79 |21,799       

1979-80 |23,134       

1980-81 |23,798       

1981-82 |24,267       

1982-83 |25,881       

1983-84 |26,596       

1984-85 |28,091       

1985-86 |27,854       

1986-87 |27,279       

1987-88 |26,717       

1988-89 |25,339       

1989-90 |25,610       

1990-91 |25,453       

1991-92 |26,352       

1992-93 |23,776       

1993-94 |22,881       

1994-95 |22,222       

Notes:                

1. Figures include    

exceptional           

expenditure on        

Falklands/Gulf        

conflicts             

but exclude Gulf      

burden sharing        

contributions from    

other Governments.    

2. Figures from       

1978-79 take account  

of the technical      

changes in the        

treatment of Armed    

Forces and civilian   

pensions described in 

the 1992              

Autumn Statement (Cm  

2096) and other       

classification        

changes. It has not   

been possible to      

adjust figures for    

years before 1978-79  

on to a fully         

consistent basis and  

comparisons with      

1978-79 and later     

years may             

therefore be          

unreliable.           

3. Figures from       

1992-93 onwards       

exclude provision for 

the security and      

intelligence          

services.             

4. Figures for        

1993-94 reflects      

provisional outturn   

as published in the   

Cash Limit Outturn    

White Paper on 14 Jul 

94 (Cm 2617) and is   

adjusted              

in line with Note 3.  

Research and Procurement Projects

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what response he has made to the statement issued on behalf of 11 European defence manufacturers associations on 21 June ; and if he will list the current defence research and procurement projects on which he is engaged with partners in Europe.

Mr. Aitken : I have noted the views of industry as expressed in the statement made on behalf of 11 European defence manufacturers associations on 21 June. Details of our current collaborative defence projects are given in the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1994".


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Al Yamamah Programme

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a table showing the unit price in each year of the barrels of oil used as a basis of payment in the Al Yamamah programme.

Mr. Aitken : No. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on detailed matters concerning individual defence export sales.

Sir Bedivere

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, in considering the bids for the contract for the refurbishment of the motor vessel the Sir Bedivere, he will apply the same attention to the foreign business links of all bidders ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Aitken : All bids have been evaluated against the same criteria.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many parliamentary questions have received (a) written and (b) oral answers from his Department in each year since 1979.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. It is, however, a matter of public record.

Departmental Papers

Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the White and Green papers and consultative documents published by his Department in the last five years.

Mr. Hanley : Records are not held centrally.

My Department does, however, issue an annual White Paper entitled "Statement on the Defence Estimates". Other White Papers and consultative documents are issued as appropriate and copies are placed in the Library of the House.

Ship Refitting Contracts

Mr. Page : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on current ship refitting contracts.

Mr. Aitken : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Bates) on 19 July, Official Report , columns 114-15.

Special Advisers

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years became (a) management consultants and (b) joined a firm of consultants ;

(2) how many special advisers have (a) joined and (b) left his Department in each of the last five years ;

(3) if he will publish the names of the employers joined by special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years.

Mr. Hanley : The figures for the special advisers in my Department are given in the table.


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               |(a) Joined the|(b) Left the                 

               |Department    |Department                   

------------------------------------------------------------

1990           |-             |1                            

1991           |1             |-                            

1992           |1             |1                            

1993           |1             |1                            

1994           |-             |-                            

Special advisers are not obliged to advise the Department of their subsequent employer upon leaving.

RNSD Eaglescliffe

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement setting out the precise reasons why RNSD Eaglescliffe is to close ;

(2) when he will publish consultation papers on the future of RNSD Eaglescliffe ;

(3) when he next intends to visit RNSD Eaglescliffe.

Mr. Hanley : It is estimated that the proposal to close RNSD Eaglescliffe would save my Department some £52 million over 10 years and £7 million per annum thereafter. Savings on this scale are made possible as a result of continuing reductions in the level of naval stocks coupled with more efficient operating arrangements. The closure of RNSD Eaglescliffe would be part of a long-standing process of rationalising the naval logistic support area through concentrating storage facilities closer to the waterfront and away from inland areas. The rationale for, and implications of, the proposal to close RNSD Eaglescliffe will be set out in a detailed consultative document which will be issued to all interested parties as soon as possible.


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Although neither my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence nor I have any current plans to visit RNSD Eaglescliffe, we will consider all representations made concerning our proposals as part of the consultation process, the period of which has been extended to three months from 14 July.

RNAD Trecwn

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions he has given the defence land agent to consult the work force at RNAD Trecwn about the suitability of bidders before disposing of the site.

Mr. Hanley : It is not our practice to do so.

Proof and Experimental Establishments

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the existing length and area of the gunnery range at (a) Shoeburyness and (b) Pendine.

Mr. Aitken : The area and maximum length of the numerous gunnery ranges are as follows :

(a) Shoeburyness

Area : Over 34,000 acres including foreshore Gunnery Range : 25.7km.

(b) Pendine

Area : Over 4,700 acres including foreshore Gunnery Range : 20km.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the gross income generated from private contractors by each of the proof and experimental establishments in each of the last five years.

Mr. Aitken : The information requested is as follows :


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(All figures in £000)                                                         

Year         |Eskmeals    |Shoeburyness|ETC Foulness|Pendine                  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1989-90      |1,338.52    |1,219.6     |-           |805.11                   

1990-91      |1,008.98    |720.9       |13.6        |661.92                   

1991-92      |1,049.32    |1,077.4     |3.33        |1,043.77                 

1992-93      |694.77      |432.0       |66.3        |651.51                   

1993-94      |915.64      |1,006.9     |80.0        |580.39                   

Note: The Proof and Experimental Establishments at Inchterf and Cold Meece,   

which closed in 1992 and 1993 respectively, are excluded from these           

figures. P&EE Lavington is included in the figures for P&EE Shoeburyness.     

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the capital costs incurred in facilitating the transfer of small arms and cannon work from Cold Meece to Pendine.

Mr. Aitken : The cost was £858,300.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what legally enforceable powers covering gunnery range safety currently exist at (a) Shoeburyness and (b) Pendine.

Mr. Aitken : The following statutory instruments have been made under the provisions of the Military Lands Acts 1892 to 1903 : (a) Shoeburyness

Number 1189 of 1935

Number 714 of 1936

(b) Pendine

Number 1627 of 1973

Number 475 of 1981


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Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his best estimate of the capital costs required to facilitate the proposed transfer of small arms and cannon work from Pendine to Shoeburyness.

Mr. Aitken : If the closure of the establishment is confirmed it is planned to place a commercial contract for this work. The estimate of cost is, therefore, commercially confidential. I can confirm, however, that the costs are included, but not separately identified, in the summary investment appraisal, attached to the Director General Test and Evaluation's consultative document.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those customers of the dynamic test bracks at proof and experimental establishment, Pendine who have been consulted by his Department during the Directorate General of Test and Evaluation study.

Mr. Aitken : The commercial customers concerned were the Society of British Aerospace Companies and Royal Ordnance plc. Discussions were also held with relevant internal Ministry of Defence customers including the Defence Research Agency.


Column 387

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the gross income generated by the dynamic test tracks of proof and experimental establishment, Pendine in each of the last five years ; and how much of this was from (a) private contractors and (b) Government organisations.

Mr. Aitken : The information requested is as follows :


           |Private   |Government           

           |£'000     |£'000                

--------------------------------------------

FY 1989-90 |253.18    |-                    

FY 1990-91 |260.73    |-                    

FY 1991-92 |485.23    |-                    

FY 1992-93 |5.55      |-                    

FY 1993-94 |-         |1,086.60             

The large amount of Government work in financial year 1993-94 is explained by the move of the Defence Research Agency to a trading fund.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what have been the decontamination costs to date at Cold Meece.

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

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his best estimate of the total decontamination costs for Cold Meece.

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

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of MOD police for proof and experimental establishment, Pendine in each of the last five years.

Mr. Aitken : The information is as follows :


        |£K           

----------------------

1990-91 |553          

1991-92 |570          

1992-93 |598          

1993-94 |630          

1994-95 |<1>640       

<1>Estimated for full 

year.                 

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the current restrictions on safety grounds at the gunnery ranges at (a) Shoeburyness and (b) Pendine.

Mr. Aitken : The proof and experimental establishment has no nett explosive quantity limitation but of the 20 batteries currently in use only eight can be used at any one time because of safety considerations. PEE Pendine, which has an NEQ limit of 125 kg, has 22 facilities of which up to 12 could be used at any one time.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his best estimate of the capital costs required to facilitate the transfer of small arms and cannon work from proof and experimental establishment, Pendine to Shoeburyness.

Mr. Aitken : If the closure of the establishment is confirmed it is planned to place a commercial contract for this work. The estimate of cost is, therefore, commercially confidential. I can confirm, however, that the costs are included, but not separately identified, in the summary investment appraisal, attached to the Director General Test and Evaluation's consultative document.

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the gross income generated from Government Departments by each of the proof and experimental establishments in each of the last five years.

Mr. Aitken : The information requested is as follows :


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£000                                                                          

Year         |Eskmeals    |Shoeburyness|ETC Foulness|Pendine                  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1989-90      |-           |24.6        |-           |-                        

1990-91      |-           |0.8         |-           |-                        

1991-92      |-           |112.4       |-           |-                        

1992-93      |-           |61.0        |-           |-                        

1993-94      |536.57      |1,139.7     |-           |1,678.62                 

Note: The Proof and Experimental Establishments at Inchterf and Cold Meece,   

which closed in 1992 and 1993 respectively, are excluded from these           

figures. P and EE Lavington is included in the figures for P and EE           

Shoeburyness. Figures for financial year 1993-94 are higher than previous     

years                                                                         

because of the Defence Research Agency's move to a Trading Fund.              

Music Schools

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the requirements for prior training in basic music which apply to bandsmen entering (a) the Royal Marine school of music at Deal, (b) the military music school at Kneller Hall and (c) the Royal Air Force school of music ; how many musical instruments bandsmen are fully trained at each of those schools ; and to what level of orchestral playing bandsmen are trained at each of those schools.

Mr. Hanley : The entry qualifications at each of the three schools is as follows :

Deal

There is no set musical grade ability requirement. On completion of the normal recruitment procedures and a musical assessment, all entrants are subject to a week long audition which determines


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musical ability. Guidance given to RN/RM careers officers is that potential recruits will require a minimum musical standard equivalent to a grade 5.

Kneller Hall

A musician with some experience in bands or orchestras who holds a certificate of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music at grade 8 or equivalent.

Uxbridge

The RAF requires potential bandsmen to be of a minimum Grade 8 Associated Board standard in one instrument. It is current practice, however, to recruit musicians direct from music college/University. The numbers of bandsmen who undertake basic bandsmen training at the three establishments are as follows :

Deal -- 15-20 per annum (Note 1)

Kneller Hall -- 100 per annum (Note 2)

Uxbridge -- Nil

The levels of orchestral playing to which bandsmen are training at each of the schools is as follows :


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DealMusicians : Performance Diploma

Sergeant : Pre-course to LRSM

Bandmaster : LRSM

Kneller Hall Musicians : O-A Level, GCSE/Diploma

Sergeants : A Level, GCSE/Diploma

Serg Majors : Diploma

Bandmaster : Diploma/Degree

Director of Music : Advanced Diploma/Degree

UxbridgeThe structure of further musical training at RAF Uxbridge enables bandsmen to attain a high level of orchestral playing. Notes :

1. In addition, some 10-15 Corporals, Sergeants and Bandmasters also undertake further musical training at Deal each year on courses of varying length.

2. In addition, around 100 Sergeants, Sergant Majors, Bandmasters and Directors of Music undertake further musical training at Kneller Hall each year on courses of varying length.

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the proposal to move the Royal Marines school of music from Deal has been fully appraised in accordance with commitment by the then permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence set out in paragraph 510 on page 7 of the "11th Report of the Committee of Public Accounts for Session 1985-86" ; and if he will publish the investment appraisal.

Mr. Hanley : A full appraisal has been made of the proposal to transfer the training of Royal Marine musicians from Deal, in accordance with the commitment by the then permanent secretary. A consultation document setting out the options considered and the rationale for our proposals will be issued as soon as possible. Except for commercially sensitive details, this will include all relevant financial information.

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals he has to shorten the training of Royal Marines bandsmen from the present period of two years and eight months.

Mr. Hanley : As indicated in the defence cost report "Front Line First", further work is in hand to establish whether there is scope to conduct the initial training of military musicians through bursary or scholarship schemes at civilian colleges of music. This could be expected to have implications for the duration of training.

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will conduct an investment appraisal to determine the savings to the Exchequer resulting from the intelligence centre moving to the marine barracks at Deal assuming (a) the Royal Marines school of music remains at Deal with the intelligence centre and (b) a combined defence school of music is set up at Deal with the intelligence centre.


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