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Next Steps Agencies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the salary and other emoluments of the civil servant who did the work of, or work comparable to that of, the chief executive of each next steps agency established by his Departments before the agency was established.

Mr. Nelson: The salaries of the officials concerned were as follows:



Central Statistical Office: |76,060       |(for 1990-91)              

Paymaster General's Office: |41,831       |(for 1993-94)              

Royal Mint:                 |45,350       |(for 1989-90)              

Valuation Office:           |55,290       |(in 1991)                  

EC Expenditure

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 21 November, Official Report , column 15 , what account he took of the additional resources coming from new EC members.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The figures for the effect of the Edinburgh financing settlement on the United Kingdom net contribution--£75 million in 1995 96, rising to £250 million in the 1999--are based on a Community of Twelve.

The financial consequences of enlargement are a separate matter. It will not be possible to determine them finally until all the prospective member states have completed their referendums and parliamentary processes, and we know exactly which ones will be joining, and until the consequential revision of the financial perspective is agreed.

However, on the assumption that all four prospective new members join the Community, we expect that enlargement will result in a small reduction in the United Kingdom's net contribution compared with what it would otherwise have been in the absence of enlargement. The own resources ceiling after enlargement will remain at the levels now proposed: that is, 1.21 per cent. of Community GNP in 1995, 1.22 per cent. in 1996, 1.24 per cent. in 1997, 1.26 per cent. in 1998 and 1.27 per cent. in 1999.

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Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the net cost to each member state of the European Union of the increase in the size of the Community budget for each of the years 1995 96 to 1999 2000.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: I regret that the information is not available in the detail requested. The following analysis gives some broad indications of likely developments.


All member states will contribute more to the higher budget. The extra contributions will be broadly in line with their relative GNP, apart from the effect of the United Kingdom abatement. Thus Germany will contribute about 30 per cent. of the extra cost, France over 20 per cent., and Italy between 15 and 20 per cent. The United Kingdom will contribute about 16 per cent. before abatement. Other, smaller member states will pay a smaller share.

As now, the United Kingdom abatement will reduce our net contribution by 66 per cent. of the difference between our contribution to, and receipts from, the allocated budget--that is, excluding external expenditure, on which we get no rebate. Change in the own resources structure

By 1999, member states' gross contributions to the Community will more closely reflect their actual GNP shares rather than their shares of a notional harmonised VAT base. GNP is widely acknowledged to be a fairer measure of a member state's ability to contribute than VAT. The impact of this change in the structure of the revenue side of the budget, taken in isolation, is expected to benefit mainly Spain, Germany and France, with Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Luxembourg being small gainers. Italy will pay heavily--reflecting the benefit it has received in the past from having a VAT base which is a smaller proportion of its GNP base than any other member state; Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands will also pay more. There will be no change in the United Kingdom's net contribution, taking one year with another, because any changes to our gross contributions which arise will be wholly offset by the abatement in the following year. Expenditure

It is not possible to estimate with any certainty how each member state would benefit from the additional resources available. The following gives some pointers:

(a) Agriculture . The Edinburgh European Council decisions make no difference to the distribution of CAP receipts between member states, although the recent reform of the CAP will change the balance to some extent; and the Community now has a new GATT commitment to reduce the value of export subsidies and the volume of subsidised exports.

(b) Cohesion Fund . The Cohesion Fund (worth 2.6 billion ecu in 1999 1992 prices) will benefit Spain, Greece, Portugal and the Irish Republic. The allocations decided by the European Council are: Spain 52 58 per cent., Greece 16 20 per cent., Portugal 16 20 per cent., Ireland 7 10 per cent. This is likely to lead to receipts of about 1.4 billion ecu for Spain, 0.5 billion ecu for Portugal, 0.5 billion ecu for Greece and 0.2 billion ecu for Ireland.

(c) Structural Funds . The largest relative beneficiaries will be those member states composed entirely or mainly of "Objective 1" regions (regions where development is lagging behind): Spain, Greece, Portugal and the Irish Republic. Increased grants are also available to the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland has long been, and Merseyside and the Highlands and Islands have

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now become objective 1 regions, though all were, strictly speaking, too rich in terms of per capita GNP to qualify.

(d) Other internal policies . These include research and development, trans -European networks and a range of other policies. Member states' receipts will depend upon specific decisions taken in specialist Councils and in the annual Budget Councils.

(e) External actions . These will, by definition, not result in receipts for member states, though much of the business which results from this expenditure will benefit firms in the Community, including those from the United Kingdom.

(f) Administration . The principal beneficiaries are likely to be Belgium and Luxembourg where most of the Community's administrative activities are concentrated. France will also benefit from the decision that the European Parliament should remain in Strasbourg. (The United Kingdom acts as host to the JET research programme at Culham in Oxfordshire and has been chosen to provide the site (Canary Wharf, London) of the new Medicines Evaluation Agency.) Overall assessment

In recent years, the United Kingdom has usually been the second largest net contributor to the EC Budget, both in total per capita, after Germany.

By 1999, we expect that France will have passed us on both counts. The Netherlands is also expected to be a larger per capita net contributor. Italy's net contributions to the Community will increase significantly, though she will still pay less than us. Germany will remain by far the largest net contributor, and will pay much more than us towards the Edinburgh deal.

Of the new member states, Austria and Sweden are expected to be larger net contributors than us per head of population, as is Norway, if it joins. Finland will be broadly in budgetary balance.

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the net cost incurred by each of the EC member states as a result of the 1988 financing review in each of the subsequent financial years.

Mr. Heatcoat-Amory: This information is not readily available and estimates could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Rates Revaluation

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions the Scottish Assessors Association or its representatives has met its counterparts in the Inland Revenue with respect to the impending rates revaluation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nelson: In dealing with the impending rates revaluation, both the Valuation Office agency and the Scottish Assessors Association have followed long-standing practice on harmonisation.

Since the last revaluation in 1990 there have been 13 meetings of the Steering Committee on Harmonisation (Practice and Procedure) England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the last seven of which have concentrated on the impending revaluation. The most recent was held on 27 October 1994.

In addition, there has been on-going contract at working level covering particular classes of property and harmonisation issues, precise details of which are not readily available.

A Tax on Disability"

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what study his Department has made of "A

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Tax on Disability" published by the Disablement Income Group, a copy of which has been sent to him; what action he is taking; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heatcoat-Amory [holding answer 22 November 1994]: The report has been read by Treasury Ministers and officials and its recommendations have been noted. The Government have put in place a substantial package of assistance to help meet the cost of VAT on fuel and power. It will help over 15 million people including the overwhelming majority of disabled people. The value of the package builds to £1.3 billion a year.

Charging Policies

Mr. Rooker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the charging policy of his Department and the agencies for which he is responsible in respect of inquiries under the code of practice on access to government.

Mr. Nelson [holding answer 22 November 1994]: The Office of Public Service and Sciences has produced guidance on charging which recognises the diversity of costs and operational structure across the range of bodies implementing the code. In line with this guidance, the Departments and agencies for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible have developed schemes of charges for information under the code of practice on access to Government information.

The Treasury: For simple requests the first hour's work is free. Requests taking between one and three hours to prepare are charged at £15 per hour or part of an hour. For complex requests taking more than three hours, the charge is based on the actual cost of the extra work.

HM Customs and Excise: The Department has adopted the same arrangements as the Treasury.

Inland Revenue: A charge of £15 is made for handling requests except where the cost of staff time and other direct costs of meeting the request are estimated at £50 or more. In those cases, the charge is equal to the estimated cost.

Valuation Office: The office has the same arrangements as the Inland Revenue.

Central Statistical Office: Answering requests for statistics and analysis is the CSO's raison d'etre and charges for meeting these requests are made in line with the charging guidelines published in the CSO's agency framework documents. The CSO's policy is not to charge for meeting requests for some other information, for example, on the CSO's policies and activities.

Registry of Friendly Societies: The Department carries out a public record function relating to the registration of mutual societies. A standard fee is charged for the inspection on any particular day of documents relating to a single society or branch and copies can be supplied at £1.50 for up to five pages. No charge is made for general information about performance of the Department but if requests are made which result in additional work, a similar level of charge is payable as for the inspection of documents. More complex requests are costed individually.

Royal Mint: The agency's policy is to treat each application on its merits. Account is taken of the complexity of the request in deciding whether it would be appropriate to levy a charge which would be based on the Office of Public Service and Science guidelines. Department for National Savings: The Department's current policy is to provide information free of charge but its policy is being reviewed in the light of experience of the past eight months of the code's operation.

National Investment and Loans Office: It is the policy of the office to follow the guidelines on charging set out by the Office of Public Service and Sciences.

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Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department was aware of the limited performance of the Borletti L85 fuse, the MOD contract for which was placed with Borletti on 20 March 1991.

Mr. Freeman: The limits on use of the L85 fuse have been known since its introduction into services in 1980.

Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reason was given by his Department for the placing of a £2,088,000 order for L85 fuses with Borletti on 20 March 1991.

Mr. Freeman: The order for artillery shell fuses was placed after a competition between Borletti, which offered the L85 fuse, and Royal Ordnance plc, which offered the L106 fuse. Orders were placed for both fuses, with the mix between them being determined by factors such as the operational conditions under which the fuse was to be used and priced.

RNAD Coulport

Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what restrictions are imposed on the operation of radar and radio equipment by vessels on Loch Long in the vicinity of RNAD Coulport.

Mr. Soames: The area in Loch Long around RNAD Coulport contains a protected area and a restricted area. Non-military vessels are only permitted to enter the restricted area. No mandatory restrictions are applied to non-military vessels, but it has been the practice to ask vessels proceeding up or down Loch Long to cease operating radar equipment while within the restricted area. We are unaware of any instance where masters have been reluctant to comply.

Contaminated Military Sites

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the paper presented by John Stuart, head of his Department's environment unit, to a defence industry conference in Munich at the end of October, on contaminated military sites.

Mr. Soames: The 1994 environmental restoration opportunities conference was held in Munich in October in conjunction with a meeting of the NATO committee responsible for a pilot study on the environmental aspects of reusing former military lands. The conference enabled representatives of Government and industry from many NATO and other central and eastern European countries to exchange information and views on the challenges facing them in dealing with contaminated land, andMr. Stuart was one of many speakers. As we have previously made clear, we are reviewing our procedures for dealing with land contamination on the defence estate, and this process is helped by sharing experience with other countries.

Mortar Fuses

Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Junghans is being considered as a supplier for a mortar fuse order.

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Mr. Freeman: My Department has no plans for a direct purchase of mortar bomb fuses from Junghans. Different options for the fuse of the high explosive element of the 51 mm mortar bomb order, placed with Royal Ordnance plc in July, are being considered. Under the terms of the contract, whichever fuse is chosen is a matter for the company's technical commercial judgment.

Loch Long

Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non- military vessels, and of what nationalities, have been boarded by United Kingdom military personnel in Loch Long in each year since 1990.

Mr. Soames: Boardings of non-military vessels in Loch Long are conducted not by military personnel but by the Clyde marine unit of the Ministry of Defence Police. Records of the nationality of vessels boarded are not kept. The number of boardings in each year since 1990 is:

1990: 6

1991: 4

1992: 2

1993: 2

1994: 6

Borletti, Junghans and Raupass

Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to reclaim moneys from the companies Borletti, Junghans and Raupass.

Mr. Freeman: Civil proceedings have commenced against Gordon Foxley, certain members of his family circle and the companies involved in the payment of secret commissions.

Light Armour Weapons

Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the orders, and their value, which have been placed by his Department for light armour weapons since 1985.

Mr. Freeman: Since 1985, my Department has placed two orders for weapons used against light armoured vehicles, one with Hunting Engineering Ltd. in 1986 for the light anti-armour weapon for the 1980s and one with Raufoss in 1987 for the M72 light anti-armour weapon. The values of these orders were £237 million and £2.4 million respectively. In addition, two orders have more recently been placed for rifle-launched grenades that have an armour piercing capability. The value of these orders, placed with Luchaire, is commercially confidential.

Sea Harriers

Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he ordered an attrition batch of Sea Harriers; with what inertial navigation system they will be fitted on delivery to the Royal Navy; if he will list Sea Harrier losses over the past five years, showing for each how far electronic and electrical systems and sub-systems were recoverable for reuse; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman: An initial batch of 10 new aircraft was ordered in March 1990. A further order, bringing the total to 18, was placed in January 1994. An additional five conversions were ordered separately in July 1994 to

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complete the attrition reserve. On delivery, some aircraft will be fitted initially with the current standard inertial navigation equipment known as NAVHARS--navigation, heading and attitude system--taken from Navy spares stocks. The possibility of fitting later deliveries with a replacement navigation system incorporating more modern technology, including a global positioning system, is currently being examined.

The Sea Harrier losses over the past five years are as follows: Sea Harrier FRS Mk1

4 October 1989 (HMS ARK ROYAL)

1 December 1989 (HMS INVINCIBLE)


10 May 1991 (Wales)

28 May 1992 (HMS INVINCIBLE)

16 April 1994 (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Sea Harrier F/A2

5 January 1994 (Chivenor)

Electronic and electrical systems and sub-systems are not re-used after the inevitable impact damage which occurs when an aircraft is lost.

Next Steps Agencies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the salary and other emoluments of the civil servant who did the work of, or work comparable to that of, the chief executive of each next steps agency established by his Department before the agency was established.

Mr. Freeman: The salary of the civil servants whose duties most closely compare with those of the present chief executives of my Department's agencies are as follows:


Agency                        |Year        |£                        


Army Base Repair                                                     

  Organisation                |1992-93     |53,000                   

Chemical and Biological                                              

  Defence Establishment       |1990-91     |48,600                   

Defence Accounts Agency       |1990-91     |46,946                   

Defence Analytical Services                                          

  Agency                      |1992-93     |53,481                   

Defence Animal Centre         |1993-94     |46,059                   

Defence Clothing and Textiles                                        

  Agency                      |1994-95     |55,958                   

Defence Operational Analysis                                         

  Centre                      |1992-93     |46,122                   

Defence Postal and Courier                                           

  Service                     |1992-93     |62,090                   

Defence Research Agency       |1990-91     |59,020                   

Disposal Sales Agency         |1994-5      |42,930                   

Duke of Yorks Royal Military                                         

  School                      |1991-92     |43,000                   

Hydrographic Office           |1989-90     |43,851                   

Logistic Information System                                          

  Agency                      |1994-95     |55,958                   

Meteorological Office         |1989-90     |53,100                   

Military Survey               |1990-91     |46,084                   

Naval Aircraft Repair                                                

  Organisation                |1991-92     |47,578                   

Queen Victoria School         |1991-92     |33,578                   

RAF Maintenance Group         |1990-91     |51,957                   

RAF Signals Engineering                                              

  Establishment               |1994-95     |55,045                   

RAF Training Group            |1993-94     |56,710                   

Service Children School                                              

  (North-West Europe)         |1990-91     |37,900                   

Lobbying Companies

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the date those occasions over the last two years when Ministers or officials in his Department have met lobbying companies, prior to a decision being made on the subject of the meeting with the lobbying company.

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Mr. Soames: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the guidelines issued by his Department to regulate relationships with lobbying companies.

Mr. Soames: My Department is well aware of the need to take into account the full range of appropriate considerations, including regularity and propriety, when taking decisions and when dealing with external contractors or lobbyists.

Conditions of service for the staff of my Department incorporate the general principles of conduct that require civil servants not to misuse information which they acquire in the course of their duties, not to make use of their official position to further their private interests or those of others and not to receive gifts, hospitality or benefits of any kind from a third party, which might be seen to compromise their personal judgment or integrity.


Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of officers and ranks in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Royal Navy for 1979, 1984 and each year since 1989.

Mr. Soames: The information requested is provided in the table below:

             Royal Naval             Army                    Royal Air Force                    


1 April     |Officers   |Other Ranks|Officers   |Other Ranks|Officers   |Other Ranks            


1979        |10,029     |62,471     |17,153     |139,028    |14,580     |71,730                 

1984        |9,831      |61,450     |17,220     |144,319    |15,139     |77,950                 

1989        |10,156     |54,483     |17,310     |138,257    |15,374     |76,069                 

1990        |10,162     |53,052     |17,433     |135,379    |15,274     |74,411                 

1991        |10,126     |51,929     |17,509     |130,130    |15,215     |73,156                 

1992        |10,097     |52,022     |17,240     |128,123    |15,058     |70,904                 

1993        |9,802      |49,555     |16,129     |118,454    |14,472     |66,437                 

1994        |9,182      |46,597     |14,840     |108,188    |13,465     |62,216                 

The figures include trained personnel and those undergoing training and personnel in the        

nursing services. They have been extracted from "Tri-Service Personnel Statistics 1-Strengths,  

Intake and Outflow of United Kingdom Regular Forces", copies of which are placed in the Library 

of the House.                                                                                   

Lockheed C130J

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates of the meetings between officials in his Department and Market Access International to discuss the Lockheed C130J.

Mr. Freeman: A representative from Market Access International was present at, but did not play an active part in, a presentation given by Lockheed last October which was attended by officials from my Department. Otherwise, there have, to the best of my knowledge, been no meetings between MOD officials and Market Access International personnel to discuss the Hercules rolling replacement programme.

Defence Export Services Organisation

Mr. Rooker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what specialist advice on international finance, export credits and business development is available to his Department's Defence Export Services Organisation.

Mr. Freeman: The Defence Export Services Organisation receives advice on international finance and export credits from its international finance adviser, who

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maintains close links with the Export Credits Guarantee Department. DESO's business development branch is the initial point of contact and advice for small and medium sized companies new to the defence export field.

Defence Contractors

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many defence contractors are on the list of contractors requiring special attention; and how many of such contractors were (a) newly placed on the list and (b) left the list in each year since 1989.

Mr. Freeman: There are currently 10 contractors on the list of contractors requiring special attention. The additional information required could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Anglo-German Co-operation

Mr. Radice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on Anglo-German defence co-operation.

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Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 22 November 1994, Official Report, column 134 .


New Palace Yard

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what consultation he undertook with right hon. and hon. Members prior to the purchase of the new parking and traffic management signs in New Palace Yard which replaced the previous plastic cones; and what was the cost of this project.

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