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Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance his Department is providing to defence contractors, as a result of redundancies, in the procurement budget.
Mr. Freeman: My Department expects to remain the largest single customer of the United Kingdoms defence industry. To help defence contractors adjust to reductions in the defence budget, we provide them with as much information as possible on our future procurement plans.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to ensure that United States firms competing for United Kingdom defence contracts are treated in the same way as United Kingdom firms seeking to tender for United States defence contracts; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: It is our policy to promote fair and open international competition for defence equipment contracts and we encourage other countries to do the same. To this end we reviewed the US-UK defence co- operation memorandum of understanding in December last year, which helps to maintain a two-way street in bilateral defence trade between the UK and the US.
Mr. Riddick: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what decisions he has taken on the proposals contained in the consultative document, "The Way Ahead for Test and Evaluation", issued on 14 July 1994 as part of the defence costs study.
Mr. Freeman: Proposals recommending the closure of four establishments in the Directorate General of Test and
Evaluation--Pendine, Kirkcudbright, Lavington and Hurn--were announced as apart of the defence costs study last year. During the period of consultation, which closed on 14 October, representations were made by trade unions, local authorities, several environmental bodies which we had consulted and by a number of hon. Members. All the points raised have been carefully considered, against the background of the need to match demand and capacity within the directorate. The decisions we have now reached are as follows:
a. We received a number of very constructive responses to our proposal to close Pendine, notably from the Pendine steering group. In the light of these, and of our own further analysis of the costs of reproviding certain facilities, we have decided that Pendine should stay open and that the dynamic test tracks and associated static warhead trials together with the small arms and cannon work should remain there. Administrative, stores and engineering support will in future be provided from Aberporth and mortar trials will be transferred from Pendine to Shoeburyness in the course of 1995. The net result will be that about 110 jobs will remain at Pendine. b. Kirkcudbright, too, will stay open but numbers will fall slightly from their current level of about 120 to about 90. We expect numbers to remain broadly at this level for two to three years to support the current tank armament development and integration work. On completion of this work and subject to there being no significant change in the anticipated workload, the intention would be to reduce test and evaluation activities to a small permanent level of about six staff with trials conducted on a "campaign" basis and trails teams brought in as required from other T&E facilities. However, in this eventuality, the army has declared a significant interest in using Kirkcudbright for training purposes. This idea, which would bring with it the possibility of additional recruitment of civilian support staff and significant capital spend on the range, is currently under study.
Column 507c. Lavington will close four months from now and its work, but not its personnel, will be transferred in the main to Shoeburyness. d. Hurn will close as a manned site four months from now. Thereafter it too will be operated on a "campaign" basis but large plant will be transferred to Chertsey.
Compared with the current costs of running the establishments, these measures are estimated to save about £83 million over the next 10 years and a little over £8 million per year thereafter.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Brent, East (Mr. Livingstone) of 3 February 1995, Official Report , column 888 , if he will list all the projects carried out in the United Kingdom in the 1985 US-UK strategic defence initiative memorandum.
Mr. Soames: US-funded work performed in the UK under the 1985 US-UK "SDI" memorandum of understanding is effected by the agreement of Government-to-Government arrangements called letters of offer and acceptance. Since the signing of the memorandum of understanding, 26 letters of offer and acceptance have been awarded amounting to a total value of $129.4 million. The majority of work and funding effort has been sub-contracted to UK industry.
The purpose of two of these arrangements is classified; the remainder are as follows:
UK SDI architecture study
European BMC3 architecture
Countermeasures to SDI components
Laser impulse coupling, interaction
European test bed requirements study
Catalysts for CO2 laser system
Advanced sensor hardening
Higher operating temperature IR detectors
Delay lines for use at 10 micrometers
UK extended air defence test bed
Artificial intelligence discrimination
Data fusion demonstrator
MESAR radar trials
UKAS follow-on study
Sensor hardening (follow-on studies)
Phase conjugation programme
Target oriented tracking system
Evolution and test of IR window materials
Threat generation study
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether, pursuant to his answer of 3 February 1995, Official Report , column 857 , sniper protection armour has been fitted to any vehicles at a time when such vehicles have been detained by any local military or paramilitary forces operating in Bosnia.
Mr. Soames: No vehicles so fitted have been detained by the warring factions.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on personal and family services for (a) the RAF, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Navy in each year since 1979.
Mr. Soames: Work in these areas is carried out by a number of different people and organisations; these are funded from different budgets, and may work wholly or partly providing such services. The overall cost of personal and family services is not, however, separately identifiable.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the budget for naval personal and family services based at (a) HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, (b) HMS Drake, Plymouth and (c) HMS Cochrane, Rosyth, in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: According to available records, which are held only for the last three years, the budget for the naval personal and family services organisation at these establishments is as follows:
£ million Financial Year |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- HMS Nelson |0.762 |0.866 |0.924 HMS Drake |0.838 |0.973 |1.034 HMS Cochrane |n/a |0.514 |0.522 Note: 1994-95 figures show the end of year forecast.
The overall cost of providing personal and family services is not separately identifiable, however, and could not therefore be provided.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will set out his Department's procedures for disposal of uranium swarf; and if he will identify the burial sites around Britain.
Mr. Freeman: Depleted and natural uranium swarf is sent to British Nuclear Fuels plc for recycling or storage pending the identification of a disposal route. Enriched uranium swarf is always recycled for possible future use. There are at present no UK sites approved for the bulk burial of either natural or depleted uranium swarf.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the amount of rent arrears currently outstanding on service housing;
(2) how many ex-service families were evicted as result of non-payment of rent for service housing in each of the last two years.
Mr. Soames: All serving personnel who occupy service families accommodation have their accommodation charges deducted from their pay. Personnel who have left the services lose their entitlement to this accommodation. If they continue to occupy it they become irregular occupants and must pay damages for trespass, which are charged at a level considered to be a fair market rent. At present, there are DFT arrears of some £2.9 million for the Army and Navy. The RAF does not hold these figures centrally.
Column 509Although proceedings to evict irregular occupants for non-payment of rent have been initiated in a number of cases in the last two years, no evictions have been necessary.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the current building work being carried out at RAF Machrihanish; if he will list the companies involved; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: Apart from regular maintenance, no major building work is currently being carried out at RAF Machrihanish at present.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the companies involved in the upgrading of RAF Machrihanish since 1990; what was the value of each contract awarded by (a) his Ministry and (b) NATO; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The following companies have been employed in building projects at RAF Machrihanish since 1990:
Amey Construction Ltd.
B and D Builders
C. R. Smith
Maurice Hill Ltd.
N. W. Holst
Parkinson Twaddle Ltd.
PSA BM Edinburgh
R. G. McLeod
Strathclyde regional council
Trafalgar House Group
Watson Norrie Ltd.
Weir Ferguson and Martin
The value of individual contracts awarded is commercially confidential; however, the total funding by my Department and NATO for building projects at the station since 1990 is £16.0 million and £39.9 million respectively.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the current functions of RAF Machrihanish; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: RAF Machrihanish is a NATO forward operating base which is assigned to SACLANT.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the redundant churches and chapels sold by his Department in the last five years; and what
Column 510were (a) the original valuation, (b) the eventual selling price and (c) the buyer in each case.
Mr. Soames: No redundant churches or chapels have been sold as individual buildings by my Department in the last five years, although St. George's chapel in Chatham is in the process of disposal and is to be sold to Gillingham borough council. In addition, a building at Netheravon, Wiltshire which had been used as a Roman Catholic church some years ago was sold on the open market to Mr. P. Hilliyard who has subsequently converted the property to a house for his own occupation. It is not my Department's practice to disclose the sale price of buildings or sites, which is commercial in confidence to the purchaser.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make a statement on the progress towards memorandum 4 for Eurofighter 2000 with particular reference to the development assurance phase and integrated logistic support.
Mr. Freeman: We and our Eurofighter 2000 partners hope to sign the memorandum of understanding governing the reorientation of the development phase of the programme within the next few months. This will permit the start of the development assurance phase and preparatory integrated logistic support activities.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will name the current (a) personal aides-de-camp to the Queen, (b) the first and principal naval aide-de-camp to the Queen, (c) the flag aide-de-camp to the Queen, (d) naval aides-de-camp to the Queen, (e) the royal marine aide-de- camp to the Queen, (f) extra naval equerries to the Queen, (g) royal naval reserve aides-de-camp to the Queen, (h) the royal marine reserve aide-de- camp to the Queen, (i) honorary chaplains to the Queen, (j) the honorary surgeons to the Queen, (l) honorary dental surgeons to the Queen, (m) the Royal Navy reserve honorary surgeon to the Queen and (n) the honorary nursing officer to the Queen; what are the duties of each postholder; and if he will list the salaries or other benefits to which each postholder is entitled.
Mr. Soames: The information requested is given in the table. The duties of each post are not set out formally, but are mainly of a representational nature. No remuneration or other benefit is received by any of the postholders.
Personal ADC to the Queen
HRH the Prince of Wales
HRH the Duke of York
First and Principal Naval ADC to the Queen
Admiral Sir Benjamin Bathurst
Flag ADC to the Queen
Admiral Sir Michael Layard
Naval ADCs to the Queen
Commodore B. B. Perowne
Captain J. A. Benyon
Captain A. S. Ritchie
Captain J. G. F. Cooke
Captain J. B. Simpson