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Mr. Kynoch: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure the sound use of available resources at the national library of Scotland.
Sir Hector Monro: The national library of Scotland is an important natational institution which provides valuable services to users in Scotland and beyond. My officials and I take a close and regular interest in the effectiveness of the corporate planning and financial management systems in the library. In keeping with the Government's policy towards non -departmental public bodies, the Scottish Office Education Department will now undertake a regular policy and financial management review of the library, focusing on key issues which will have a bearing on future policy developments at the library. The review will be conducted by Mr. Colin Imrie, a principal at the Scottish Office attached to the Scottish
Column 742Office Education Department for the purpose of this review. I expect his report, including recommendations, to be completed this spring. Interested parties can contact Mr. Imrie at the following address:
The Scottish Office Education Department
Room 613, 43 Jeffrey Street
Tel: 031 244 5360
Fax: 031 244 5526
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what contractors are responsible for upgrading the M74; what is the deadline for improvements by contractors upgrading the M74; what are the daily financial penalties incurred by the contractors for work completed after the deadline on the M74; and what changes have been made to the contract concerning completion by the deadline on the M74.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 23 January 1995]: At present, there are two contractors working on the upgrading of the A74 to motorway: Morrison Construction on the length between Ecclefechan and Eaglesfield and Castelli-Girola between Eaglesfield and Kirkpatrick Fleming. Contracts have recently been completed by Barr, Balfour Beatty and Miller Civil Engineering. A contract to divert the Evan Water in advance of the main works has been let to Barr very recently; but work has not yet started.
When bidding for the Scottish Office road contracts, contractors submit their own completion dates with their tenders and these are taken into account when deciding which firm should be awarded the contract. The completion date becomes part of the contract, and the contractor becomes liable for liquidated damages if he is late. There is provision in such contracts to extend the time for completion--for example, due to exceptional weather conditions, which would delay the onset of liquidated damages.
The Ecclefechan to Eaglesfield contract is due to be completed on 3 December 1995, and the liquidated damages payable for late completion are £5,500 per day. The contract is on programme.
The Eaglesfield to Kirkpatrick Fleming contract was due for completion on 26 November 1994, and liquidated damages of £8,200 per day will be due, calculated from that date, except to the extent that the contract conditions relating to an extension of time apply. The appropriate application of these conditions to the circumstances of this contract is currently being considered. The terms of the contract therefore render it unnecessary to make changes concerning the completion date. The road is expected to open to traffic in mid-1995.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost of regimental mascots in each of the last five years.
Mr. Soames: The costs of purchasing officially recognised mascots, together with the cost of food, accommodation and ceremonial accoutrements, are met
Column 743privately by regimental associations. Their travel and veterinary costs are met by my Department, but these are minimal and are not therefore separately identifiable.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the bids he received for the sale of houses at RAF Finningley, near Doncaster, (b) the criteria for determining the successful bid, (c) the name of the successful organisation and (d) the agreed purchase price.
Mr. Soames: Bids for the sale of 93 houses at RAF Finningley were received from the following:
Bassinder Dapo Housing Association
Hodge and Co.
J. B. Pettifer
South Yorkshire Housing Association
Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing Association
The highest compliant bid was accepted once it had been determined that the bidder was capable of honouring the conditions of sale. The successful bidder was Hodge and Co. The agreed purchase price is commercial in confidence.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list by name and rank those personnel who have left his Department in the last two years and who now serve on his Department's executive or advisory bodies; if he will identify the advisory or executive body in each case; and if he will give the remuneration received in each case.
Mr. Soames: Four appointees have retired from my Department in the last two years and currently serve on a Ministry of Defence non- departmental public body. These are detailed:
Vice Admiral Sir Barry Wilson KCB, appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Royal Naval Museum.
Captain B. Gibbs RM, appointed as a Trustee of the Royal Marines Museum.
Flight Lieutenant Z. Gunn, appointed as member of the Anglo-American Community Relations Committee.
Major P. Lawson, appointed as member of the Anglo-American Community Relations Committee.
None receives any remuneration.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications to join defence or defence-related companies from his Department's personnel have been refused in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: None. The purpose of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments is to ensure that no cause of suspicion of impropriety exists. All applicants are therefore approved either unconditionally or subject to
Column 744a waiting period of up to two years, or with a ban on the involvement of the applicant in a specific project or area of work on behalf of the employer.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many dwellings owned by his Department have been sold to (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) other buyers since 1 January 1994.
Mr. Soames: The number of dwellings sold to local authorities, housing associations and other buyers between 1 January and 31 December 1994 was as follows:
Local Authorities: Nil
Housing Associations: 231
Other Buyers: 1,315
Unfortunately, my answer of 15 December, Official Report, column 814 , contained an error. The number of dwellings sold to housing associations during financial year 1994 95 should have read 229, not 237.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) in which city the Crown housing trust has its offices; and what has been the total cost of building and leasing the offices since 1 January 1994;
(2) in which city the defence housing executive has its offices; and what has been the total cost of building and leasing the offices.
Mr. Soames: The staff initially recruited for a housing trust and now employed on setting up the defence housing executive were originally accommodated in Ministry of Defence offices in London. Since August 1994, they have occupied other Government offices in central London at a cost to my Department of approximately £165,000.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest estimate for the cost of the Eurofighter 2000 project; what was the original estimated cost; when the Eurofighter is due in service; and when it was originally due in service.
Mr. Freeman: The estimated total cost of EF2000, comprising the costs of development, production and integrated logistic support, to the United Kingdom is £14.9 billion. The original estimated total cost in 1986 was £12.7 billion at today's prices.
At the time of the original approval, the EF2000 entry into service date was December 1998. Reorientation of the project, agreed by the Defence Ministers of the EF2000 partner nations in December 1992, has changed this to December 2000.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest estimate for the cost of the Bowman combat radio system; what was the original estimated cost; when the Bowman system is expected to be in service; and what was the original in-service date of the project.
Mr. Freeman: The latest estimate for the cost of the Bowman combat radio system is £1.9 billion. The original estimated cost in 1988 was £1.5 billion, which equates to £2.1 billion at current prices. The in-service date for Bowman is January 2000. The original in-service date was 1995.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest estimate for the cost of the EH101 Merlin; what was the original estimated cost; when the EH101 is expected to be in service; and what was the original in-service date of the project.
Mr. Freeman: The Department's latest estimate for the cost of the EH101 Merlin is £3,925 million. The estimated cost in 1991, at the time the Merlin prime contract was placed on Loral-ASIC--then IBM-ASIC--was £3,799 million, at 1994 95 prices. The Merlin is expected to be in service in 1998; the original in-service date, upon the approval of development in 1982, was 1993.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest estimate for the cost of the Boxer communications system; what was the original estimated cost; when the Boxer communications system is expected to be in service; and what was the original in-service date of the project.
Mr. Freeman: The latest estimate for the cost of Boxer is £337 million at 1994 95 prices. The original cost was £211.3 million at 1994 95 prices. Boxer is planned to be in service on 30 June 1996. The original in-service date was 31 December 1992.
Mr. Peter Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will prohibit the use of facsimile messages between royal naval establishments unless the telephones used have automatic memory dialling facilities to avoid mis-dialling errors.
Mr. Soames: No. Automatic memory dialling is already widely used where appropriate.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with BAe Royal Ordnance about the sale of electric-shock batons to (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) other countries.
Mr. Freeman: None, prior to the recent publicity regarding the alleged supply of such equipment. The company has denied both publicly and to my officials that it has ever supplied such equipment.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will name each of the front-line infantry regiments.
Mr. Soames: A list of current Regular infantry regiments is as follows:
Regular Infantry Regiments
The Guards Division
Column 746Irish Guards
The Scottish Division
The Royal Scots
The Royal Highland Fusiliers
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
The Black Watch
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Queen's Division
The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (First and Second Battalion)
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (First and Second Battalion) The Royal Anglian Regiment (First and Second Battalion)
The King's Division
The King's Own Border Regiment
The King's Regiment
The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire
The Green Howards
The Royal Irish Regiment
The Queen's Lancashire Regiment
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment
The Prince of Wales's Division
The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
The Cheshire Regiment
The Royal Welch Fusiliers
The Royal Regiment of Wales
The Royal Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire Regiment The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment
The Staffordshire Regiment
The Light Division
The Light Infantry (First and Second Battalion)
The Royal Green Jackets (First and Second Battalion)
The Parachute Regiment (First, Second and Third Battalion) The Brigade of Gurkas
The Royal Gurkha Rifles (First, Second and Third Battalion)