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Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when it is proposed to relocate the Red Arrows; and what is the planned expenditure at that base to accommodate them.
Mr. Soames: It is proposed to relocate the Red Arrows to RAF Marham in October 1995 at a total estimated cost of £3 million.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which RAF bases are supplied by underground fuel pipelines; and what proportion this is of all RAF bases in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Soames: Of 35 RAF flying stations in the United Kingdom, including three USAF bases, 18 are connected to the military pipeline system which provides aviation fuel. The remainder are supplied by road.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if details of the nuclear weapons store at USAF Lakenheath are supplied to Her Majesty's Government; and what provision is made for the store to be subject to the consent of Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Soames: Inspection and formal approval by the relevant United Kingdom authorities is required before any facility may be used for the storage of nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what responsibility he has for organising emergency plans involving all the local emergency services in relation to the nuclear weapons store at USAF Lakenheath; and how frequently the emergency plan is tested.
Mr. Soames: The Ministry of Defence is the lead Department for the response to any accident involving a nuclear weapon in the United Kingdom. Generic contingency plans exist which take account of the responsibilities of the civil emergency services. Response arrangements, including joint United Kingdom--United States arrangements, are regularly tested; the most recent major exercise took place in April and included full participation by the local authorities and civil emergency services in Suffolk.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have been (a) arrested, (b) charged, (c) convicted and (d) acquitted over matters relating to byelaws at RAF Lakenheath in each of the last three years.
Mr. Soames: The figures are as follows:
|1992|1993|1994 ---------------------------------- (a) Arrested |- |3 |- (b) Charged |- |3 |- (c) Convicted |- |- |- (d) Acquitted |- |- |-
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when it was first known that Elaine Dugard, a petty officer registered nurse, had contracted the HIV virus;
(2) between which dates Elaine Dugard worked as a nurse at the royal naval hospital in Plymouth;
(3) between which dates Elaine Dugard worked in the casualty unit at the royal naval hospital in Plymouth.
Mr. Soames: While I can confirm that nurse Dugard worked a the royal naval hospital Plymouth, it is not my Department's practice to give details of an individual's service employment or medical records.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department received the report from KPMG Peat Marwick into spending at Haymes Garth; if he will allow officers named in the report the opportunity to comment on it before its publication; when he expects to publish the report; and what is the estimated cost of conducting the inquiry.
Mr. Soames: KPMG Peat Marwick has not yet submitted its final report on Haymes Garth. Draft extracts have been shown to the individuals who were interviewed in the course of the investigation, and the report is now being finalised in the light of their comments. Once the report has been received we shall want to give its findings careful consideration. The latest estimate of the cost of employing KPMG Peat Marwick to undertake this work is around £100,000.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the latest estimate of the amount that will have been spent for the recent refurbishment and redecoration of official service residence Haymes Garth in Gloucestershire; who was the officer responsible for overseeing this budget; what is the present valuation of Haymes Garth; and on how many occasions those responsible for the refurbishment and redecoration travelled overseas to discuss details of the changes proposed.
Mr. Soames: Final reconciliation of the full costs of refurbishment and redecoration of Haymes Garth is in hand. Current indicators are that the total will be slightly lower than the figure given in my predecessor's statement on 4 July, Official Report , column 85 , but I shall report the final figure to the House as part of the further statement I have promised. In the light of the on-going study into this particular case it would be inappropriate at this stage to name any individual.
Although informal assessments of the value of Haymes Garth have been made to assist the investigations, there has been no recent full commercial valuation.
The cost of refurbishment and redecoration includes two brief liaison visits to Germany by a contractor.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the value of the contract awarded to SEMA to install and run a commercially based accountancy system.
Mr. Freeman: This is a matter for the Defence Research Agency and I have asked the chief executive, Mr. Chisholm, to answer direct.
Column 548Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Tam Dalyell, dated 28 November 1994:
In today's written answer the Minister of State for Defence Procurement informed you that I would be replying to your question concerning the value of the contract awarded to SEMA to install and run a commercially based accountancy system.
DRA's Commercial Accounting System (CAS) was developed to facilitate the creation of the Trading Fund in April 1993. The System is one of the largest integrated accounting systems operating in the United Kingdom. Five software companies received orders of £0.5 million or more. SEMA was one of those companies and its contribution was worth £1.2 million.
The running of the CAS is undertaken in-house by DRA's Financial Accounting Department. It places a number of support contracts for various services. SEMA has a contract to supply a Financial Systems Management service. This was awarded in August 1993 and the payments to December 1994 are expected to be £0.7 million
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will state the background and qualifications of the new chief executive of the Defence Research Agency.
Mr. Freeman: We have no plans to replace the current chief executive of the DRA, John Chisholm. Mr. Chisholm graduated from Cambridge university with a BA in mechanical sciences and is a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. He has extensive experience in the service industries, having held senior positions in CAP Scientific and the SEMA group. He has been chief executive of the DRA since July 1991.
Sir Cranley Onslow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what items of military equipment of British manufacture are being evaluated by the United States Government under the provisions of the foreign competitive testing programme for 1995; and what items of British manufacture have been bought by the United States Government since that programme was first set up in 1990.
Mr. Freeman: The United States Government have recently announced that six items of military equipment of British manufacture have been authorised for evaluation under the provisions of the United States foreign comparative testing programme for 1995. These are: automatic chemical agent alarm; small projected line charge; acoustic cladding underwater repair system; advanced short range air-to-air missile; mini strike initiator; and minimum operating strip lighting kit. Since 1990, the United States Government have announced the purchase of six items of British manufacture as a result of successful FCT evaluations. These are: chemical agent monitor; improved chemical agent monitor; impressed current cathodic protection; aerial target vector scoring system; versatile exercise mine system; and enhanced electronic warfare scenario generator.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Mr. Mike Wood, currently the United Kingdom marketing executive for Lockheed, and his deputy, Mr. Richard Lumb, were, when employed by his Department, privy to confidential information on the
Column 549RAF's future operational requirements including its plans to refurbish or replace the Herclus C-130K aircraft.
Mr. Freeman: All Crown servants, including officers in Her Majesty's armed forces, are bound by regulations governing the acceptance of outside appointments. The rules ensure that when a Crown servant accepts outside employment no cause for suspicion of impropriety exists. I am satisfied that both Mr. Wood and Mr. Lumb abided by these rules.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the target availability of the Hercules fleet required to enable it to meet its budgeted flying hours requirement.
Mr. Freeman: Aircraft availability dictates the number of aircraft that are available for tasking to meet commitments on any particular day. This is not linked directly to the budgeted annual flying hours requirement as each aircraft does not necessarily fly the same number of hours.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact on budgeted flying hours if his Department proceeds with its plan to offer up for sale up to 10 of the older aircraft.
Mr. Freeman: There is no plan to offer for sale any of the Hercules fleet. An advertisement was placed by my Department in September to assess the potential market for RAF Hercules should they become available for sale.
Mr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what have been the budgeted flying hours for Hercules C130 fleet in each of the last three years.
Mr. Freeman: Budgeted flying hours are as follows:
|1992-93|1993-94|1994-95 --------------------------------------------------------- Hercules air transport aircraft |33,990 |33,990 |34,058 Hercules tanker aircraft |2,901 |2,901 |2,901
There has been an increase in the number of budgeted flying hours for Hercules air transport aircraft this year to accommodate reservist aircrew flying trials.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his Russian counterpart concerning the termination of Russian production facilities for biological weapons.
Mr. Soames: Following a joint statement signed in September 1992 the Governments of Russia, United Kingdom and United States are conducting discussions with the intention of establishing confidence in Russian compliance with the biological and toxic weapons convention.
Mr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total cost to his Department in developing the privatisation plans for the royal dockyards.
Mr. Freeman: During the period between 18 October 1993, when my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced our policy towards the future management of the dockyards, Official Report , 18 October 1993, columns 39-41 , and 31 October 1994, total identifiable expenditure for work associated with developing and implementing plans for the proposed privatisation of the royal dockyards amounts to some £7.2 million. Given that the current dockyard management contracts are due to expire no later than April 1996, my Department would expect to have incurred in any case costs for work related to any future management arrangements for the royal dockyards.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his (a) United States, (b) Russian and (c) Italian counterparts concerning the banning of the export and import of anti-personnel land mines.
Mr. Freeman: The United kingdom is in the forefront of international efforts to establish rules for the responsible use and transfer of anti- personnel land mines. Discussions have been held with a number of states, including the United States, Russia and Italy, in the context of the UN weaponry convention review conference and in respect of other initiatives. Our aim is to establish international arrangements which will command widespread respect and adherence.