Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if payments to the Canadian authorities for Royal Air Force use of facilities at Goose Bay were withheld or postponed following introduction of the new cost recovery methodology by the Canadian Department of National Defence in the financial year 1990 91.
Mr. Soames: Part of the payment to the Canadian authorities for financial year 1990 91 was postponed while the introduction of the revised cost recovery methodology was the subject of correspondence between United Kingdom and Canadian officials.
Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what commitments to, or agreements on, future costs to the United Kingdom Government were contained in the agreements signed with the Canadian authorities in 1986 concerning Royal Air Force access to training at Goose Bay.
Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the presentation made by the head of the Royal Air Force delegation to the meeting of the Goose Bay military users committee in June 1994.
Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to the pooling of Royal Air Force and German air force maintenance and operations facilities for Tornado aircraft deployed for training at Canadian forces base Goose Bay.
Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what agreements have been reached with other NATO air forces concerning the sharing of air-to-air refuelling assets for transatlantic deployment of fighter aircraft to Canadian forces base Goose Bay; (2) what agreements have been reached with other NATO air forces concerning the sharing of air transport assets for transatlantic deployment of air and ground crew from Europe to Canadian forces base Goose Bay.
Column 1189already takes place between the allied detachments at Goose Bay.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many British service personnel have been disciplined in each of the last five years for alcohol-related offences while stationed in (a) Germany, (b) Britain and (c) Cyprus;
(2) how many British service personnel have been disciplined in each of the last five years for drug-related offences whilst stationed in (a) Germany, (b) Britain and (c) Cyprus.
Mr. Soames: My Department has no record of any Brian Patchett in the Army. If the hon. Member wishes to write to my noble Friend the Under- Secretary of State for Defence with more details, he will be happy to look into the matter further.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the disposal of the assets and good will of International Military Services Ltd. is now complete; and to whom those assets and good will were passed.
Mr. Freeman: Although International Military Services Ltd. ceased trading on 31 July 1991, not all its residual obligations have yet been met. Disposal of its assets will not be dealt with until the company is finally wound up.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the arrangements for supervision of International Military Services in 1987; what considerations had led to them; and how they were subsequently revised.
Mr. Freeman: When ownership of IMS was assumed by the Ministry of Defence in 1979, the Department laid down rigorous policy guidelines for the company, setting out the nature of the business it could undertake and the degree of MOD supervision required. The company was obliged to seek the Department's approval before initiating business in new markets, or which involved novel features or was significantly different from previous business. In 1989, IMS was required to cease trading by 1991.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 29 November 1993, Official Report , column 365 , to which agencies or departments of Government the employees of IMS Ltd.
Column 1190were transferred in the years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what total orders by value were placed with Royal Ordnance under the terms of explosives and propellants and related end products agreement; what proportion of his Department's ammunition purchases that represented; and when the EPREP agreement was terminated.
Mr. Freeman: Orders to an approximate total value of £560 million were placed with Royal Ordnance under the EPREP agreement, representing 80 per cent. of the Department's ammunition purchases over the agreement's five-year life. The EPREP agreement expired on 31 March 1993.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what electronic combat reconnaissance systems for aircraft are available from United Kingdom manufacturers; and what is the cost of each such system.
The cost of any such system is commercially sensitive.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British strike aircraft are fitted with electronic combat reconnaissance systems; and what programme is currently in hand to fit more such systems to strike aircraft.
Mr. Freeman: Some Tornado GRI aircraft are equipped with the air- launched anti-radiation missile which is designed to attack and suppress enemy radar systems. The number of aircraft so equipped is classified and cannot be publicly disclosed. Following the Tornado mid-life update programme, all Tornado GR4 aircraft will be ALARM capable.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent purchases have been made (a) under and (b) outside the 1989 defence protocol agreement between the United Kingdom and Brunei; and what efforts have been made to bring the defence protocol into effect.
The hon. Member will be interested to know that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam signed a memorandum of understanding on defence equipment, infrastructure and training on 15 December.
Column 1191The memorandum, which enters into force immediately, will continue the close relations between the British defence industry and the Royal Brunei armed forces.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many previous officials of the Saudi armed forces project group are now working in commercial enterprises that do, or may, have an interest in contacts placed, or likely to be placed, through the group.
Mr. Freeman: My Department does not hold comprehensive records of the subsequent employment of former staff of the Saudi armed forces project office. Such employment would, however, be governed by the normal rules on acceptance of business appointments by former Crown servants.
Year |Total |Underlying |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 |23,611 |23,243 1993-94 |22,757 |22,181 1994-95 |22,071 |21,556-forecast of outturn
The "underlying" figures exclude expenditure on redundancies arising from the transition to the new force structure and costs resulting from recovery from the Gulf conflict.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received concerning the need by his Department to order the European future large aircraft; and if he will make a statement.
Column 1192from British Aerospace employees, as well as an early-day motion and some questions in the House.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact on the United Kingdom aerospace industry should the Government choose not to proceed with the FLA.
Ms Mowlam: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of potential savings from the reduction in Army security activities as a consequence of the ceasefire in Northern Ireland for each of the next five years.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the events planned to commemorate the end of the second world war, (b) the total cost to his Department and (c) the charges which will be made to second world war veterans and widows for participating in the events.
Mr. Soames: The Government plan to commemorate the end of the second world war with a programme of events to mark the 50th anniversary of both VE day and VJ day. The former will be commemorated over the 6 to 8 May bank holiday, and the latter over the weekend of 19 and 20 August. The provisional programme of major events will include:
Dates |Events ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 6-8 May |Public event activities in Hyde park. 6 May |Reception and banquet at Guildhall, City of London. 7 May |Service at St. Paul's cathedral. 7 or 8 May |Services in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. 8 May |VE night concert in Hyde park. 19 August |Open air service in central London. 19 August |Tribute and promise parade in central London. 19 August |Evening firework display along the Thames. 20 August |A tribute throughout the nation, including |services in Belfast, Cardiff and |Edinburgh, and culminating with a |Beating the Retreat and sunset |ceremony in these cities and in London.
The cost of organising the commemorative events will fall to a number of Government Departments, as appropriate. The total cost to the Ministry of Defence cannot be projected accurately at present, as the details of plans have yet to be finalised.
It is not envisaged that any charges will be made to veterans for admission to any of the Government-sponsored events.
Mr. Soames: We do not maintain detailed records of the hours worked by service personnel on operational duty in Bosnia. The information that is available, however, indicates that last year some 20 per cent. of other ranks worked in excess of 60 hours per week.
Mr. Soames: British troops continue to make a major contribution to the United Nations operation in the former Yugoslavia which has helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives. We intend to maintain this contribution so long as our forces can continue to carry out the UN mandate at an acceptable level of risk.
Mr. Soames: The President of the United States has recently indicated his willingness, in principle, to contribute ground forces to any NATO-led operation to support a withdrawal of UNPROFOR, should that become necessary.
Mr. Jim Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he intends to meet his Swedish, Finnish and Austrian counterparts to discuss the development of the Western European Union; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence looks forward to discussing a range of defence matters with his counterparts in these countries, both in the course of bilateral meetings and in the WEU, should they decide to seek a formal association with that organisation.
Mr. Freeman: The United Kingdom involvement in the international arms trade is strictly controlled by Government policy which takes account of our defence and international obligations. The Defence Export Services Organisation within my Department exists to help UK defence industry market and sell its products and services overseas. 1993 was a record year for British defence equipment
manufacturers--winning orders worth some £7 billion. It is still too early to say how successful 1994 has been.
Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West (Sir M. Grylls) on 8 December, Official Report , column 303 .
Mr. Soames: The defence budget for 1995 96 continues to assume a substantial receipt from the sale of married quarters in Great Britain during that year. Although the original plans for a housing trust have been dropped, other options are being pursued.
Mr. Freeman: My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence regularly discusses future defence equipment needs with our European Union partners in the western European armaments group, most recently on 14 November in Noordwijk.
Mr. Soames: Records are not maintained which would enable my Department to provide such information. Details of major equipment procured for the UK armed forces have, however, been published in successive Statements on the Defence Estimates.
Column 1195can about our future requirements, to help them in their commercial planning.
Mr. Soames: In the past 12 months, seven representations have been made to Ministers in my Department concerning defence establishments in the county of Hereford and Worcester where closure or part closure has been announced or proposed.
Mr. Freeman: The evaluation of fixed price bids received at the end of September in response to the attack helicopter competition is in progress. This evaluation is being conducted on the basis of operational and cost-effectiveness, with proposals for UK industrial participation and risk being key considerations. As part of this process, test flights of the contender aircraft have been conducted.
representatives concerning the Konver project.
Mr. Soames: The UK-French summit formed part of the framework of bilateral relations which the UK has developed with close allies and demonstrated a commonality of views on a wide range of defence issues.
Mr. Soames: As my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 17 November, Official Report, columns 222- 23, we intend to publish draft reserve forces legislation early in the new year.