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Mr. Galbraith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on whom the cost fell for the cairn on the Mull of Kintyre at the site of the recent crash of a helicopter transporting personnel from Northern Ireland.
Mr. Soames: The building of the cairn was a local community initiative. The cairn stones were laid by members of the rescue services and subsequently cemented together to create a permanent fixture. I understand that local lighthouse employees paid for the brass plaque, which was mounted on the cairn
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 451 , (1) what formal undertakings will be made of Mr. David Hart in respect of his work as special adviser in the next phase of the privatisation of the married quarters estate;
(2) if any of the independent advisers used in the development of plans for the next phase of the privatisation of the married quarters estate will be permitted to purchase properties included in that sale.
Mr. Soames: The undertakings required of independent advisers on the future of the married quarters estate will be designed to ensure that there is no conflict of interests between that role and possible business interests. No independent adviser assisting in consideration of the way ahead will be permitted to have a financial stake in the outcome of the transaction.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those individuals or companies who have shown an interest in the purchase of the married quarters estate in any future privatisation.
Mr. Freeman: The United Kingdom has declared an indefinite moratorium on the export from the UK of all anti-personnel land mines which do not have self-destruct or self-neutralising mechanisms. We are also in the forefront of efforts to establish international measures to regulate the transfer of anti-personnel land mines. Any application for an export licence for a land mine which did possess a self-destruct mechanism would be assessed carefully in the light of these and other factors.
Mr. Freeman: Any application for an export licence for specially designed land mine components would be subject to strict controls, and would be considered case by case in the light of the indefinite moratorium which the United Kingdom has declared on the export from the UK of anti- personnel land mines which do not have self-destruct or self-neutralising mechanisms, and other established criteria.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if his Department has instructed those named in Sir Peter Cazalet's report into perks for officers not to speak publicly about the report;
(2) if his Department has instructed those officers named in Sir Peter Cazalet's report to consult legal advisers about their position.
Mr. Soames: Sir Peter Cazalet's report on the requirement for representational entertainment is expected to be submitted to my Department in February. Ministers are separately currently considering KPMG Peat Marwick's report into the circumstances surrounding expenditure on the official service residence known as Haymes Garth. Before that report was finalised, those named in it were shown, in confidence, draft extracts to enable them to comment on the passages that dealt with their involvement. They were not instructed to seek legal advice.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has provided military intelligence to the international tribunal for the prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The Defence debriefing team has provided unevaluated information via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the tribunal on matters relating to alleged war crimes activity in the former Yugoslavia.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what actions his Department has taken to assist the international tribunal for the prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia
Mr Soames: We continue to assist the efforts of the tribunal. This assistance has included passing to the tribunal information acquired by the defence debriefing team on alleged human rights violations and war crimes committed in Bosnia, and arranging interviews with British military personnel who have returned from theatre for the purposes of collecting eyewitness statements.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of the United Nations concerning the banning of the export of anti-personnel mines; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: No such discussions have taken place, although there has been a considerable amount of discussion between the United Kingdom and other states concerning the export of anti-personnel land mines, in the context of the review of the UN weaponry convention and other initiatives.
Mr. Freeman: A total of 9,261 permanent and temporary UK-based civilian staff were recruited by my Department and its executive agencies during the calendar year 1994. Of this total, 5,400 were non-industrial and 3,861 industrial staff. Information on the total cost of recruitment is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the current staffing levels for his Department's Guard Service of HMS Caledonia; what changes are proposed; how far the proposal to reduce Rosyth to a naval support establishment took account of these costs; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: At present, 54 Ministry of Defence guard service personnel are in the Rosyth area, of whom five are deployed at HMS Caledonia. The total number is planned to reduce to 38 when Rosyth becomes a royal
Column 447naval support establishment, 15 of whom will be deployed at the HMS Caledonia site. All manpower costs were included in the investment appraisal, on which the decision was based.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the regulations concerning the use of the riding school at Southwick house naval establishment; if people who are not employed in the armed forces are permitted to use the riding school; what groups of people are permitted to use the riding school; how many people use the riding school each year; and what is the total cost of the establishment.
Mr. Soames: The naval riding centre evolved from the HMS Dryad saddle club, which was started when the Navy moved to Southwick house in 1942. Although it is constituted primarily to provide equitation facilities for the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines, the regulations allow the facilities to be made available to service dependants, the local community, including disabled groups, schools, colleges and youth schemes; on average the centre is used by 100 people per day. The club is self-financing and there are no costs to public funds.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 18 January, Official Report , column 548 , on how many occasions in each of the past five years the civilian police have requested access to the records of service personnel; and on how many occasions this access has been denied.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department was in possession of plague vaccine manufactured in the United States of America by Cutter Laboratories, Miles Inc; and whether this vaccine was administered to British members of the armed forces during the Gulf war.
Mr. Soames: The armed forces have on-going programmes to combat the problems of alcohol abuse. All service personnel are warned of the dangers of the misuse of alcohol and are made aware of the punishments which may be awarded for alcohol-related offences. A comprehensive system of education and treatment, together with deterrent administrative and disciplinary action, has been developed. A series of alcohol education programmes, making use of pamphlets, films and lectures, have been produced to make all personnel aware of the
Column 448dangers of abuse. The services' policies on alcohol abuse are kept under constant review.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces serving in (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force have been disciplined in each of the past five years for alcohol-related offences.
|Royal |Royal |Royal |Navy |Marines |Army |Air Force ------------------------------------------------------------ 1988 |248 |26 |1,476 |609 1989 |300 |52 |1,362 |525 1990 |260 |40 |1,340 |682 1991 |226 |35 |1,093 |544 1992 |200 |34 |1,012 |445
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement about the existence of chemical weapons in the sea surrounding the British Isles following the end of the second world war;
(2) how many chemical weapons remain deposited in the sea surrounding the British Isles; what types of weapons are involved; what chemicals were contained in these weapons; in what locations they are; when the chemical weapons were first deposited in the sea; when the weapons deposited were last inspected; what evidence there is of chemical leakage; and what steps he is taking to ascertain the circumstances of their disposal.
Mr. Soames: Between 1945 and 1949, the United Kingdom disposed of approximately 120,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, munitions, bombs and shells, mainly filled with mustard and phosgene gas, by deep-sea dumping; an additional 25,000 tons of residual United Kingdom munition stocks and ex -German world war two aerial bombs, containing the nerve agent Tabun, were sea dumped in the Atlantic between 1955 and 1957. Dump sites were located between 50 and 100 miles west of Hebrides, 80 miles north-west of Northern Ireland, 250 miles south-west of Lands End in the western approaches and in Beauforts dyke in the north channel. Sea dumping was considered to be the safest and most practical disposal method at the time. The majority of munitions were sealed within redundant cargo vessels which were then scuttled. No subsequent monitoring of the dump sites has been undertaken in view of the depth. Current scientific evidence indicates that such CW dump sites present no significant risk to human health or to the marine environment.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to conduct a defence diversification study for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Cardiff; and if he will consult (a) the Welsh Development Agency, (b) South Glamorgan county council, (c) Cardiff city council and (d) Hunting-Brae Ltd. in this respect.
Mr. Freeman: Hunting-BRAE Ltd. will continue to seek suitable non- defence work which can be carried out at AWE Cardiff during the period up to 1997 alongside the Trident system. Once the work on Trident components is concluded, no other defence work can be directed to AWE Cardiff. My Department will be happy to consider any proposals for the use of the facility, including proposals from the bodies listed in the question.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will issue instructions to the management of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Cardiff, that it should utilise the remaining period of its activity to pursue diversification of the rare earth metals engineering expertise at the plant into civilian uses.
Mr. Freeman: Once the work on Trident components is completed, no other defence work can be given to AWE Cardiff. My Department is prepared to consider any proposals for alternative future uses of the site.
Mr. Freeman: It is Government policy to support the sale of British defence equipment overseas wherever this is compatible with our political, strategic and security interests, and does not conflict with our international obligations. In the case of the Hawk sales to Indonesia, an important factor in our consideration was the assurances that we received from the Indonesian Government that the aircraft will not be used for purposes of internal security.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) at what interest rate defence equipment was sold to Jordan under the British- Jordanian defence sales agreement; and what was the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development consensus interest rate at the relevant time;
(2) what payments were made towards the financing of the contracts for defence equipment sold to Jordan under the terms of the British-Jordanian defence sales agreement.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many diplomats officially accredited to missions in London and of what nationality have been expelled from the United Kingdom in each year since 1965.
Mr. Baldry: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 18 January Official Report , column 498, which detailed the number and nationality of expelled accredited diplomats between 1979 and 1995.
The information requested was not centrally recorded before 1972, but the number of diplomats officially accredited to missions in London who were expelled between 1972 and 1978 is as follows: 1972: Yemen 1
1973: Cuba 1
1978: Iraq 7
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many United Kingdom diplomats officially credited to missions in foreign countries have been expelled from (a) Libya, (b) the former Soviet Union, (c) Czechoslavakia, (d) Bulgaria, (e) Cuba, (f) Vietnam, (g) Iraq, (h) Iran, (i) South Africa, (j) Sudan and (k) Iran since 1979; and on what dates and for what stated reasons.
Mr. Baldry: The rules governing the expulsion, or requests for withdrawal, of diplomats officially accredited to missions in London are set out in paragraph 69 of the 1985 White Paper on diplomatic immunities and privileges, Cmnd 9497, dated April 1985.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent during 1994 on recruiting staff to his Department and its executive agencies; and how many staff were recruited.
Mr. Goodlad: My Department and its executive agencies, including the aid and diplomatic wings, spent £887,175.85 externally in 1994 on recruitment, and recruited 295 members of staff. In addition, 92 people transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a result of inter- departmental trawls; the cost of these is included in the above figure.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Hawk aircraft manufactured in the United Kingdom and supplied to Indonesia are used for counter-insurgency purposes.
Mr. Goodlad: Along with our EU partners, we strongly condemned the violence in Dili in 1991. We received reports of what happened from various sources, including a report of the Indonesian national commission of inquiry. These differed widely in their accounts of the numbers killed or missing. The United Nations special rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions has recently produced a new report which will be considered by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at its next session.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what circumstances other Community countries could apply conservation measures similar to those granted to Portugal and Spain under article V-I (a) of the Fisheries Council agreement.
Mr. Jack: The agreement reached by the Fisheries Council in December 1994 provides that the Council will incorporate into Council regulation 3094/86, dealing with technical conservation measures, a ban on fishing for tuna species with drift nets or purse seine nets in certain Spanish and Portuguese waters; some of these measures previously operated on an annual basis.
This agreement is in accordance with the provision of article 4 of the basic common fisheries policy, Council regulation No. 3760/92. The Commission can propose new technical conservation measures for Council decision at its own initiative or in the light of member states' requests.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has about the amount of aid paid to fishing in each of the other EEC fishing nations in the form of (a) building grants, (b) fuel or operating support, (c) market support and (d) unemployment support when not fishing; and for each form of support, what representations he has made to the Commission or to the Government concerned to get the subsidy ended.
Mr. Jack: Under European Union law, member states are permitted to pay certain types of aid to the fishing industry, provided these are approved by the Commission in its sectoral plans. These may include vessel modernisation and construction grants, aid for fishing port facilities and for the processing and marketing of fishery products. It is the Commission's responsibility to ensure
Column 452that no unauthorised payments are made. Details of the amounts paid by individual member states are not notified directly to us, but we will always follow up any allegations of illegal support.
Mr. Allason: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how may Spanish-owned ships in Britain's fishing fleet applied for United Kingdom decommissioning grants in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Jack: Under the Fishing Vessels (Decommissioning) Scheme 1993 we received seven applications for grant in respect of vessels upon which Spanish nationals held at least a 25 per cent. interest; only one was successful.
Following the introduction of the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Shipping) Regulations 1993--SI 1993 No. 3138--the registrar general of shipping and seamen no longer collects details of shareholdings in United Kingdom companies owning British-registered fishing vessels.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he sought advice from the National Rivers Authority, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Nature Conservation Council on the effects of ending the farm and conservation grants.
Mrs. Browning: Far from ending the farm and conservation grant scheme, grants for conservation measures are still available, although the land improvement and waste handling grants were withdrawn at the end of 1994. We did not seek advice on the closure of the plan side of the farm and conservation grant scheme as the scheme legislation provided for this part of the scheme to close on 31 December 1994. Neither did we seek advice on the withdrawal of grants for waste handling facilities. We hold regular meetings with the National Rivers Authority and with English Nature. These meetings include discussions on a wide range of issues. Meetings with the Countryside Council for Wales are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 18 January, Official Report , column 545 , if he will make it his policy to waive the harvesting restriction to prevent food going to waste.
Mr. Jack: No. However, we will examine the rules for planting crops on set-aside land for harvest in the next cropping year to ensure farmers do not have to choose between receiving set-aside payments and harvesting edible crops.
Sir Cranley Onslow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the number of cormorants in England and Wales during each of the years 1991 92, 1992 93 and 1993 94; how many licences to shoot cormorants in the interests of the protection of inland fisheries were issued by his Department in each of those years; and how many birds are known to have been shot under these licences.
Mrs. Browning: No figures are readily available of the number of cormorants in England and Wales during each of the last three years. However, a report by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology estimates that the population of cormorants over-wintering in Britain has been increasing at a rate of 4 per cent. per year and currently stands at approximately 20,000 birds. Research on the population and distribution of cormorants is a part of the research and development programme currently being discussed by this Department and the Department of the Environment.
Details of the number of licences granted by this Department in England and the number of birds shot under licence are as follows:
|Number of |Number of cormorants Year |licences issued |shot under licence ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991 |3 |18 1992 |4 |13 1993 |20 |72 1994 |30 |<1>28 <1> Some licences extend into 1995. The figure given is for the number of birds shot up to 31 December 1994.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what independent legal advice he has now received concerning the export of veal calves from the United Kingdom to other EU member states; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what impact on Britain's multi-annual guidance programme he expects to achieve with the addition of £28 million to his vessel decommissioning programme.