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Mr. Goodlad: We are continuing our discussions with the Vietnamese and Chinese Governments. Our firm intention is that the problem of Vietnamese migrants and ex-China Vietnamese illegal

immigrants--ECVIIs--in Hong Kong will be resolved well before China takes over in 1997. Solid progress has been made; 45,000 Vietnamese migrants have been repatriated since 1989 and 2,000 ECVIIs have been returned to China since September last year.

EU Foreign Affairs Council

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the voting record of each member state on items agreed at the meeting of the European Community's Foreign Affairs Council held on 3 to 4 October.

Mr. Goodlad: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's statement to the House of 27 October 1994 Official Report, columns 765 66 . No votes were taken at this Council: those items agreed are also set out in the press release published by the Council secretariat and deposited in the House of Commons Library.

Economic Summit

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Byers) of 12 December, Official Report, columns 463-64, if he will make a statement on how his Department arrived at the figure for the total cost for his spouse to accompany him to the economic summit in Naples between 8 and 10 July 1994.

Mr. Goodlad: The total cost for Mrs. Hurd to accompany my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the economic summit in Naples, referred to in my answer of 12 December, reflects minimal expenses only. Mrs. Hurd travelled on an official aircraft and stayed as a guest of the Italian Government.


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NATIONAL HERITAGE

Departmental Telephones

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how much has been spent on telephone charges and how many telephone calls have been made by his Department for each of the last five years.

Mr. Dorrell: The Department of National Heritage was set up in April 1992 and figures can be provided only from 1993 94, when the Department moved into its present offices and took over telephony. Departmental charges for telephony for the year 1993 94 were £168, 000.

Details of the numbers of calls made per year are not held centrally.

Executive Search Agencies

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what use his Department has made of executive search agencies in filling vacancies within his Department and executive agencies administered by his Department during the last year; and how much these services have cost his Department.

Mr. Dorrell: Neither this Department nor its executive agencies have used executive search agencies to fill any vacancies during the last year.

National Lottery

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) whether he will issue a direction to the Director General of the National Lottery with the aim of forbidding the withholding of prize money in the national lottery from one week's competition to add artificially to jackpots in one or more subsequent competitions, other than as part of an authorised roll-over arrangement; (2) what advice he has received from the Director General of the National Lottery about the withholding of national lottery prize money by Camelot in order to boost jackpots in subsequent competitions other than as part of an authorised roll-over arrangement;

(3) whether it his Department's policy to encourage the Office of the National Lottery to permit the withholding of national lottery prize money by Camelot in order to boost jackpots in subsequent competitions other than as part of an authorised roll-over arrangement.

Mr. Dorrell: Prize money in the national lottery cannot be manipulated from week to week. I have asked Peter Davis, the Director General of the National Lottery, to write to the hon. Member about this matter, placing copies of his letter in the Library of the House.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will bring forward proposals to prohibit the BBC from promoting and advertising the national lottery.

Mr. Dorrell: No. Such proposals are not necessary. Under the terms of its licence and agreement, the BBC may not without my approval receive payment for broadcasting advertising or promotional material, and no such approval has been sought or given.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what advice he has received about the legality of BBC television programmes promoting the national lottery.


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Mr. Dorrell: I have been advised that the legality of the BBC's operations is primarily a matter for the BBC's governors.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage under what section of the BBC's charter the corporation is permitted to promote the national lottery.

Mr. Dorrell: Under clause 3 of its charter, the BBC can make and broadcast programmes, including programmes covering events such as the national lottery draw. Detailed rules on the content and presentation of such programmes are set out in the BBC's producers' guidelines.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what steps he has taken to satisfy himself that the content, style and promotion of the national lottery programme shown on BBC television on Saturday night conforms with the BBC's charter.

Mr. Dorrell: None. The primary responsibility for ensuring that individual programmes conform with the BBC's royal charter rests with the BBC's governors.

Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage whether Ministers of the Crown will support individual project applications for grants from the national lottery; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell: Distribution of the net proceeds of the national lottery is the responsibility of the distributing bodies named under section 23 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, as amended by statutory instrument 1994 No. 1342. The decisions that these bodies take will be independent of Government. The Government's main function in the distribution process is to issue directions under section 26 of the Act, covering the financial management of lottery funds and matters which distributors must take into account when making funding decisions.

Lottery applications, except those made to the National Lottery Charities Board, are expected to attract a significant element of partnership funding from the voluntary or private sector, from local authorities or, exceptionally, from grant in aid. Within their normal departmental responsibilities, Ministers and their Departments may be involved in the process of approving aspects of a project, or in agreeing the contribution which a body receiving grant in aid might wish to make to a fully worked-up project. In cases where the costs of a project exceed a public body's delegated limits, the entire project will need ministerial approval. Ministers and their Departments may also encourage a wide range of projects to be put forward to the distributing bodies. However, they will not endorse any individual application to any national lottery distributing body, nor will they explicitly state that any applications should be given priority by the distributing body over other applications. Where there is any grant in aid partnership funding, that will not in itself result in that project receiving special priority when it is considered by a distributing body for lottery funds.

Ministers may. of course, support local projects from within their constituencies in their capacity as Members of this House.

Ministerial Train Journeys

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many train journeys of one hour's duration or more he has made in Britain in 1994 in the course of his official duties.


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Mr. Dorrell: Whenever it is appropriate, I travel by train to official engagements. Information on individual journeys and the times taken could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Sports Council

Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has made to Her Majesty's Treasury, with regard to reviewing the Sports Council's financial memoranda as part of the current restructuring exercise.

Mr. Sproat: As I announced on 8 July, Official Report , columns 584 92 , the Sports Council will be replaced during 1995 96 by new United Kingdom and English Sports Councils. The framework of financial control for these bodies is currently under consideration.

Rugby Football Union

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make urgent representations to the Rugby Football Union regarding its imposition of a 12-month ban on Mr. Adrian Spencer; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat [holding answer 19 December 1994]: I have no plans to make specific representations to the Rugby Union Football about this matter. However, the rugby authorities are well aware of my views on the need for more constructive dialogue between the two codes.

English Heritage

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what local government representation there is on the governing body of English Heritage.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 19 December 1994]: English Heritage's governing body is its commission. Sir Hugh Cubitt, who has been a member of the commission for six years, is a former member and leader of Westminster city council and a former

chairman of the council's planning committee. His appointment ends on 31 December 1994. When making future appointments to the commission, due regard will be given to the National Heritage Act 1983 and the desirability of at least one member having knowledge of local government.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Members' Staff

Mrs. Currie: To ask the Lord President of the Council how many staff are employed by hon. Members; and how many are female.

Mr. Newton: As at 30 November 1994, a total of 1,637 separate salary payments were made on behalf of hon. Members. Of these, 1,318 were payments to females.

Christmas Expenditure

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Lord President of the Council how many official Christmas cards he and his Ministers intend to send in 1994; how much these cards will cost (a) to buy, (b) to post and (c) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes; and if he will place in the Library


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a sample copy of the official Christmas card he intends to send this year.

Mr. Newton: This year I expect to send about 200 Christmas cards. The cost of purchasing and posting these cards will be £150, inclusive of VAT, and £38 respectively. It is not possible to estimate accurately the cost in staff time; but it would be minimal. I will arrange for an example of the Christmas card to be placed in the Library.

DEFENCE

Consultants

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the private consultants employed by his Department in each of the last five years; what projects they were involved with; and what was the total cost in each year.

Mr. Freeman: The Department's central contracts branch has placed in excess of 500 contracts with consultants in each of the last few years. In addition to this figure, consultancy contracts are placed as part of specific projects and as low value orders of under £10, 000. Under the Department's arrangements for the delegation of contractual authority, such contracts are placed without reference to the central contracts branch and so cannot be identified separately. In view of this and the large number of centrally placed contracts involved over the last 15 years, an answer to this question could be provided only at disproportionate cost and effort.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will (a) list those consultancy contracts awarded by his Department's central contracts branch in each year since 1989 and (b) list the purpose of each individual contract.

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

Quangos

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those quangos for which his Department is responsible and indentify the membership of each and the remuneration they receive.

Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to "Public Bodies 1993", issued by the Cabinet Office, Office of Public Service and Science, pages 7 and 8 of which detail MOD non-departmental public bodies.

Indonesia

Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who services the British Hawk aircraft sold to Indonesia.

Mr. Freeman: The Indonesians service the Hawk aircraft themselves.

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates between 1984 and the present memoranda of understanding relating to defence contracts were agreed with the Government of Indonesia; and what was the subject matter and their value.

Mr. Freeman: A general co-operation MOU was signed between the United Kingdom and Indonesia in 1983. This MOU has been extended and supplemented


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but remains in place. It is not the practice to give details of the contents of MOUs between Governments.

Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance towards military training is being given to Indonesia during the current financial year.

Mr. Soames: The United Kingdom has provided training, including developmental and technical courses, for Indonesian students during the current financial year. Details of such training are not normally disclosed, however, as they are regarded as confidential between Governments.

Debt Collection

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the number of debt collection visits, and the countries visited, made by the Defence Accounts Agency since its formation.

Mr. Freeman: This is a matter for the chief executive of the Defence Accounts Agency. I have therefore asked him to reply. Letter from M.J. Dymond to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 19 December 1994:

You asked the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the number of debt collection visits, and the countries visited, made by the Defence Accounts Agency since its formation. As Chief Executive of the Defence Accounts Agency I have asked to reply.

Debt collection visits (4 in number) have been made to the following countries:

a. United Arab Emirates 19 February--27 February 1993

b. USA 16 April 23 April 1994

c. United Arab Emirates 2 September--7 September 1994

d. Germany 5 December--9 December 1994.

Cooks

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving officers broken down by service are entitled to the provision of cooks at public expense; and if he will identify the posts and locations and the estimated cost of this provision for the financial year 1994 95.

Mr. Soames: The information requested is as follows:


Serial                                                                      |Post Holder                                                                                                                                            

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

Royal Navy                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

1                                                                           | 1st Sea Lord                                                                                                                                          

2                                                                           |Vice Chief of Defence Staff                                                                                                                            

3                                                                           |Commander-in-Chief Fleet                                                                                                                               

4                                                                           |Chief Naval Home Command/2nd Sea Lord                                                                                                                  

5                                                                           |Flag Officer Plymouth                                                                                                                                  

6                                                                           |Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland                                                                                           

7                                                                           |Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic                                                                                                               

8                                                                           |United Kingdom Allied Forces South                                                                                                                     

9                                                                           |Flag Officer Surface Flotilla                                                                                                                          

10                                                                          |Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet                                                                                                                        

11                                                                          |Commandant Joint Service Defence College                                                                                                               

12                                                                          |Assistant Chief Naval Staff/Admiral President                                                                                                          

13                                                                          |Commander British Forces Gibraltar                                                                                                                     

14                                                                          |Flag Officer Portsmouth                                                                                                                                

15                                                                          |Flag Officer Sea Training                                                                                                                              

16                                                                          |Flag Officer Naval Aviation                                                                                                                            

17                                                                          |Director General Naval Personnel Strategy and Plans                                                                                                    

18                                                                          |Commander United Kingdom Task Group                                                                                                                    

19                                                                          |Flag Officer Submarines                                                                                                                                

20                                                                          |Naval Secretary                                                                                                                                        

21                                                                          |Flag Officer Training and Recruiting                                                                                                                   

22                                                                          |Commandant General Royal Marines                                                                                                                       

23                                                                          |Medical Director General (Naval)                                                                                                                       

24                                                                          |Chief of Staff Flag Officer Surface Flotilla                                                                                                           

25                                                                          |Commodore Minor War Vessels                                                                                                                            

26                                                                          |Naval Base Commander/Commodore Drake                                                                                                                   

27                                                                          |Commandant Royal Naval Staff College                                                                                                                   

28                                                                          |Commodore Clyde                                                                                                                                        

29                                                                          |Naval Base Commander/Captain Nelson                                                                                                                    

30                                                                          |Brigadier Commander Commando Forces                                                                                                                    

31                                                                          |Chief of Staff Flag Officer Naval Aviation                                                                                                             

32                                                                          |Commodore Amphibious Warfare                                                                                                                           

33                                                                          |Chief of Staff Flag Officer Plymouth                                                                                                                   

34                                                                          |Captain Royal Naval Engineering College                                                                                                                

35                                                                          |Captain Admiralty Interview Board                                                                                                                      

36                                                                          |Captain Britannia Royal Naval College                                                                                                                  

37                                                                          |Captain HMS Daedalus                                                                                                                                   

38                                                                          |Director Maritime Tactical School                                                                                                                      

39                                                                          |Captain HMS Dryad                                                                                                                                      

40                                                                          |Captain HMS Sultan                                                                                                                                     

41                                                                          |Captain HMS Collingwood                                                                                                                                

42                                                                          |Captain HMS Dolphin                                                                                                                                    

43                                                                          |Captain Fleet Maintenance                                                                                                                              

44                                                                          |Captain HMS Neptune                                                                                                                                    

45                                                                          |Captain HMS Raleigh                                                                                                                                    

46                                                                          |Naval Base Commander Rosyth                                                                                                                            

47                                                                          |Captain HMS Heron                                                                                                                                      

48                                                                          |Captain HMS Osprey                                                                                                                                     

49                                                                          |Captain HMS Seahawk                                                                                                                                    

50                                                                          |Chief of Staff Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland                                                                            

51                                                                          |Captain of the Port (Portsmouth)                                                                                                                       

52                                                                          |Medical Officer-in-Chief RNH Haslar                                                                                                                    

53                                                                          |Medical Officer-in-Chief INM Alverstoke                                                                                                                

54                                                                          |Captain Second Submarine Squadron                                                                                                                      

55                                                                          |Chief of Staff Commodore Minor War Vessels/Captain Fishery Protection                                                                                  

56                                                                          |Joint Maritime Operational Training Staff                                                                                                              

57                                                                          |Commandant Training Centre Royal Marines                                                                                                               

58                                                                          |Naval Base Commander Portland                                                                                                                          

59                                                                          |Director of Naval Recruiting                                                                                                                           

60                                                                          |Commanding Officer RM Deal                                                                                                                             

61                                                                          |Commanding Officer RM Poole                                                                                                                            

62                                                                          |Commanding Officer 45 Commando Royal Marines                                                                                                           

63                                                                          |Commanding Officer Comacchio Group                                                                                                                     

64                                                                          |Commanding Officer RMB Stonehouse                                                                                                                      

65                                                                          |Naval Party 1002 (Diego Garcia)                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Army                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

66                                                                          |Chief of Defence Staff                                                                                                                                 

67                                                                          |Chief General Staff                                                                                                                                    

68                                                                          |Inspector General Doctrine and Training                                                                                                                

69                                                                          |Quartermaster General                                                                                                                                  

70                                                                          |Commander-in-Chief United Kingdom Land Forces                                                                                                          

71                                                                          |Commander United Kingdom Field Army                                                                                                                    

72                                                                          |Chief of Staff United Kingdom Land Forces                                                                                                              

73                                                                          |Commander ACE Rapid Reaction Corp                                                                                                                      

74                                                                          |Commander British Forces Cyprus                                                                                                                        

75                                                                          |Commander British Forces Hong Kong                                                                                                                     

76                                                                          |General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland                                                                                                            

77                                                                          |General Officer Commanding Southern District                                                                                                           

78                                                                          |General Officer Commanding Eastern District                                                                                                            

79                                                                          |General Officer Commanding Scotland                                                                                                                    

80                                                                          |General Officer Commanding London District                                                                                                             

81                                                                          |General Officer Commanding Wales and Western District                                                                                                  

82                                                                          |General Officer Commanding 3rd Division                                                                                                                

83                                                                          |Commander 2nd Infantry Brigade                                                                                                                         

84                                                                          |Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe                                                                                                                 

85                                                                          |United Kingdom Military Representative                                                                                                                 

86                                                                          |Commandant Army Staff College                                                                                                                          

87                                                                          |Commandant Royal Military College of Science                                                                                                           

88                                                                          |Commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Royal Air Force                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

89                                                                          |Chief of the Air Staff                                                                                                                                 

90                                                                          |Commander in Chief Strike Command                                                                                                                      

91                                                                          |Air Offfcer Commanding-in-Chief Personnel and Training                                                                                                 

92                                                                          |Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Logistics                                                                                                              

93                                                                          |Deputy Commander-in-Chief Central Europe                                                                                                               

94                                                                          |Chief of Staff HQ Strike Command                                                                                                                       

95                                                                          |Air Officer Commanding 18 Group                                                                                                                        

96                                                                          |Chief of Staff Logistics                                                                                                                               

97                                                                          |Royal College of Defence Studies                                                                                                                       

98                                                                          |Air Officer Commanding 1 Group                                                                                                                         

99                                                                          |Air Officer Commanding 2 Group                                                                                                                         

100                                                                         |Air Officer Commanding 11 Group                                                                                                                        

101                                                                         |Chief of Staff HQ Personnel and Training                                                                                                               

102                                                                         |Air Officer Training                                                                                                                                   

103                                                                         |Air Officer Commanding and Commandant Bracknell                                                                                                        

104                                                                         |Air Officer Commanding and Commandant Cranwell                                                                                                         

105                                                                         |Air Officer Directly Administered Units                                                                                                                

106                                                                         |Air Officer Maintenance                                                                                                                                

107                                                                         |Deputy Commander British Forces Cyprus                                                                                                                 

108                                                                         |Maritime Headquarters Pitreavie                                                                                                                        

109                                                                         |Air Officer Administration                                                                                                                             

110                                                                         |Officer Commanding Akrotiri                                                                                                                            

111                                                                         |Officer Commanding Benson                                                                                                                              

112                                                                         |Officer Commanding Marham                                                                                                                              

113                                                                         |Officer Commanding Sek Kong                                                                                                                            

114                                                                         |Officer Commanding St. Mawgen                                                                                                                          

The total estimated cost of these posts for 1994 95 is approximately £2,400,000. For security reasons, it is not our practice to reveal the location of individual residences for senior officers. The subject of domestic assistance, including cooks and chefs, is being studied by Sir Peter Cazalet as part of his review of representational entertainment in the armed forces.

RAF Llandwrog (Buried Bombs)

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects to be in a position to respond to the request made by the hon. Member for Caernarfon for a briefing from his Department on the danger posed by second world war bombs buried at RAF Llandwrog near Dinas Dinlle, Gwynedd; and if he will make a statement concerning his investigations into this matter.

Mr. Soames: The issues raised in the hon. Member's letters of 25 November and 14 December concerning the role of RAF Llandwrog after the second world war are being investigated. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State will reply as soon as these investigations are complete.

Gulf War

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when chemical weapons detectors were triggered during the Gulf war; and what is his Department's assessment of this situation.


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Mr. Soames: Chemical weapons detectors were triggered during the Gulf war on a number of occasions but records of individual incidents are not held centrally. We are also aware that there were times when detectors alarmed as a result of operator error; on these occasions, in particular, it is likely that no report would have been made to higher formation. In consequence, and given that detectors were widely deployed both on the ground and at sea, it is impossible to answer a general question of this nature with any degree of accuracy.

Apart from those occasions attributed to obvious operator error, each chemical alarm would have been followed up by NBC reconnaissance to confirm the presence of chemical agent or otherwise. Since at no time was chemical agent detected during such follow-up operations it is assessed that chemical agent was not used for Operation Granby against United Kingdom forces.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many patients have been seen by his Department's appointed doctor concerning problems related to Operation Granby.

Mr. Soames: To date, 67 individual personnel have been examined by an armed forces consultant under the Gulf medical assessment programme, some on more than one occasion. All have been found to be suffering from identifiable complaints, none of which is peculiar to service in the Gulf. From January 1995, the rate of new examinations will be increased and efforts made to reduce the high proportion of patients not attending for pre-booked appointments.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether non-medical personnel were permitted to order members of the British armed forces in the Gulf war to take vaccinations.

Mr. Soames: All vaccinations were offered to service personnel deployed to the Gulf on the basis of voluntary informed consent.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what grounds his Department considered it necessary to vaccinate members of the armed forces in the Gulf war against plague and not botulism toxoid.

Mr. Soames: Details of specific medical countermeasures employed by British forces against potential biological warfare threat during Operation Granby remain classified.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what monitoring was used by his Department in, and during, the Gulf war for troops who had been vaccinated.

Mr. Soames: All aspects of the health of service personnel are monitored, in peace and war, as a matter of routine. As all the vaccines which were offered to Gulf war personnel are routinely used in the civilian world, and were administered in accordance with normal clinical practice, there were no grounds for special additional monitoring of those troops who had been vaccinated.

Market Testing

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 12 December, Official Report, column 457 , on market testing, what is the total value of the contracts awarded.


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Mr. Freeman: The total annual value of contracts placed following the examination of defence support activities up to September 1994 was approximately £350 million. This figure represents a considerable saving on the original annual operating costs of the 46 activities involved.

Pregnancy Dismissals

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will instigate an inquiry into the publication by a tribunal deciding the issue of compensation in a pregnancy dismissal case, and of a woman's medical records produced by counsel acting for his Department without the woman's consent.

Mr. Soames: Such documents may properly be disclosed to a court or tribunal in the course of legal proceedings to which they are relevant. Industrial tribunals are judicial bodies which are wholly independent of my Department.

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the sums of financial compensation paid to former members of the armed services who were judged by industrial tribunals to have been dismissed unfairly because of their pregnancies; and what was the commissioned or non -commissioned status of those women who were compensated.

Mr. Soames: Up to 13 December, industrial tribunal decisions on the amount of compensation due for dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy have resulted in 151 payments totalling £4,397,095 to 10 officers, average £58,018, and 141 other ranks, average £27,070. However, these payments include some made recently but relating to cases heard by tribunals before the employment appeal tribunal issued its helpful guidance in July, since when the level of new awards has fallen. Furthermore, tribunal awards represent only a small proportion of the 3,428 pregnancy claims--75 per cent. of the claims received--which have now been settled for an overall average of about £10,000 for all ranks.

Medical Records (Confidentiality)

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the notes of the discussions which took place during 1987 and 1988 between his Department and the General Medical Council which refers to the issue of forces medical records and confidentiality.

Mr. Soames: Although my Department and the General Medical Council corresponded and held informal meetings during 1987 and 1988 to discuss matters relating to medical confidentiality, there is no evidence that these meetings were formally minuted. The correspondence and discussions however resulted in the publication of new, jointly agreed, notes of guidance on medical confidentiality for medical officers employed by the armed forces, and the issue of a new medical form to protect the confidentiality of personal medical records during the administrative processing of service medical boards. I am placing copies of these documents in the Library of the House.

Service Personnel (Exhumation)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action his Department intends to take to protect the bodies of service personnel who are buried in public land


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from being exhumed without permission by war relic hunters; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames: Authority to protect sites where it is believed there are military remains is given to my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. Licences to unearth or move any wreckage are not granted if there is any suspicion that human remains may lie at the site. Action against alleged offenders is a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Recruitment and Redundancies

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what considerations led to the simultaneous recruitment and making redundant of regular military personnel in 1993 94.

Mr. Soames: The manpower reductions under "Options for Change" could not be achieved through natural wastage alone and it was therefore necessary for each of the services to implement a redundancy programme. Over 90 per cent. of those being made redundant have volunteered for selection.

Recruiting has continued throughout the redundancy programme, albeit at reduced levels, in order to maintain a balanced age and rank structure and to meet shortages in certain branches and trades.

Nerve Agents

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to which defence establishment in Australia the G agent intermediate Di-Di and the CR gas was transported in each case referred to in his answer of 24 June 1994, Official Report, column 381 .

Mr. Soames: This is a matter for the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Graham Pearson to Mr Harry Cohen, dated 19 December 1994:

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking to which defence establishment in Australia the G agent intermediate di-di and the CR gas was transported in each case referred to me to answer as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to carry out work to ensure that the UK Armed Forces are provided with effective protective measures against the threat that chemical and biological weapons may be used against them. As part of this work the potential hazard of possible chemical and biological warfare agents is assessed and the effectiveness of British protective measures evaluated.

3. Our records do not indicate to which defence establishment in Australia the G agent intermediate di-di and the V agent intermediate referred to in my answer of 24 June 1994 were transported. As I mentioned the materials, suitably packaged, were transported to London for onward transportation to Australia. It is probable that the materials went to the Materials Research Laboratory in Melbourne.


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