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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy concerning post-traumatic stress disorder; what research has been conducted into it by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Soames: My Department's response to post-traumatic stress disorder has three elements: prevention, recognition and treatment. Prevention and recognition of PTSD are combined command and medical responsibilities involving general education, pre-deployment psychiatric briefing, in-theatre education and counselling and post-deployment debriefing. The treatment of PTSD is undertaken by service psychiatric staff using internationally established and clinically recognised techniques.

Research within my Department into the disorder continues and a wide variety of PTSD-related articles written by members of the armed forces medical services have been published in professional journals. The progress of the large volume of outside research is also carefully monitored.


Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many retained sites in Cyprus were controlled by the United Kingdom under the London and Zurich agreements of 1960; how many of these retained sites have since been handed over to the control of the Cyprus Government; and at how many, and which, locations retained sites have been handed over to the Cyprus Government since the division of the island in 1974.

Mr. Soames: The treaty of establishment 1960 provided for 40 British retained sites in the Republic of Cyprus. They are listed in four schedules which form a part of that treaty, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Since then 25 complete sites and parts of six sites have been returned. Of these, eight complete sites and parts of one site have been handed back since 1974. These were as follows:

a. at the port of Limassol;

b. north-west of Zyyi (parts of);

c. at Cape Greco;

d. the water supply for the Cape Greco retained site;

e. at Polemidhia;

f. the water supply for the Polemidhia retained site;

g. north of Zyyi;

h. the water supply for the retained site north of Zyyi; i. near Paphos, about mile from the top of Cape Paphos.

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many retained sites, and at which locations, remain in (a) southern Cyprus governed by the Cyprus Government and (b) northern Cyprus governed by the government of the Turkish republic of northern Cyprus.

Mr. Soames: A total of 15 British-retained sites remain in Cyprus, of which 11 are in the south of the island and four in the north. The sites are:

a. (South)

at Troodos (two sites);

at Mount Olympus;

at Nicosia airfield;

water supply for retained site at Nicosia airfield on the coast, about five miles south of Larnaca;

on the outskirts of Limassol;

water supply for the retained site on the outskirts of Limassol; at Kissousa, including the water source and pipeline

to the Akrotiri sovereign base area;

at Limassol, in Paphos road.

b. (North)

at the port in Famagusta;

in Famagusta (three sites).

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Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates, locations and aircraft types and nationalities involved in each incident during 1993 in which a breach of low-flying avoidance area or CANP-notified area led to the filing of an airmiss; what was the involvement of the Royal Air Force provost and security service in investigating each of the reported breaches; and what disciplinary action was taken against the aircrew involved.

Mr. Soames: The information requested is as follows. The RAF police were not involved since comprehensive investigation of airmiss reports is carried out by the joint airmiss working group. No formal disciplinary action was taken against any of the aircrew involved.

Date           |Location      |Aircraft Types|Military                     



15 April       |Milfield      |PA-25 Pawnee  |United Kingdom               

                              | Jaguar                                     


20 July        |Eshott        |Microlight                                  

               |Glider Site   |Tornado                                     


 4 August      |Winthorpe     |Slingsby T61A |United Kingdom               

                              |Bulldog and                                 



23 August      |Edgehill      |K13 glider    |United Kingdom               

               | Glider Site  | Tornado GR1                                


26 August      |Pickering     |Cessna 150    |Foreign                      

                              | F-15                                       


26 August      |Pickering     |Cessna 150    |Foreign                      



 3 September   |Bovington     |K13 glider    |United Kingdom               

                              |Lynx X 2                                    


14 October     |Aboyne        |PA-25 Pawnee  |United Kingdom               



It is not my Department's policy to identify the nationalities of foreign  

military aircrews involved in airmisses in the United Kingdom.             

Exercise Hardcore

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the rules of engagement for Royal Air Force Harrier aircraft performing simulated attacks on Dutch surface-to-air missiles in Exercise Hardcore in early 1994.

Mr. Soames: RAF Harriers conducting simulated attacks against Dutch surface-to-air missiles as part of Exercise Hardcore were using the standard operating procedures and constraints laid out in the "UK Military Low Flying Handbook". No specific rules of engagement were formulated for the purposes of this exercise.

World War II (Anniversary)

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 December, Official Report, column 1192, what plans he has to charge war widows for joining in the programme of events planned to commemorate the end of World War II; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Soames: It is not envisaged that charges will be made to any members of the public for admission to any of the

Government-sponsored events.

Crown Housing Trust

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the salary and length of contract of the chief executive of the Crown housing trust; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames: The chief executive designate of the Crown housing trust was recruited on a three year fixed term appointment, with an annual salary of £80,000 plus possible bonuses of up to a further £20,000 linked to performance.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in the last 15 years his Department has paid compensation to service personnel or former members of the armed forces who have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Soames: Members of the armed forces may be subjected to traumatic experiences and may suffer stress

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as a result. We have a duty to ensure that they receive proper medical treatment, and the question of compensation arises only if there has been a negligent failure on the part of my Department. No-one has been compensated simply for having developed PTSD. There has been one case in which a former soldier has been compensated for a failure to diagnose and treat PTSD. In some other claims for personal injury, PTSD may have been claimed as one of the consequences of an injury which was caused by negligence; if so, compensation may have been paid under the conventional heading of "pain and suffering". No figures are available for these cases and data is not held in a form which would enable such information to be extracted.

Sexual Orientation

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department maintains records of the sexual orientation of members of the armed forces; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames: My Department maintains no such records. Such information would be recorded in individual cases only where this had given grounds for administrative or disciplinary action.

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