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Mr. Soames: Careful account has been taken of the one expression of interest received as part of the prior options study into defence agency status for the Royal Navy's manning, pay and pensions activities.

Injunctions (Published Material)

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many injunctions against the publication of material related to his Department were sought in the last year; and what was the total cost of this action.     [37793]

Mr. Soames: One injunction against publication has been sought by my Department in the last year. The total cost of this action has yet to be determined.


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Compensation Payments

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement concerning his Department's criteria for compensation payment.     [37775]

Mr. Soames: The Ministry of Defence pays compensation in accordance with its obligations.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has planned financial provision for the payment of compensation claims for (i) financial year 1995 96 and (ii) financial year 1996 97.     [37778]

Mr. Soames: Yes.

Canada (Training Facilities)

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his Canadian counterpart regarding the potential usage by his Department of Canadian air force and army training facilities.     [37716]

Mr. Soames: The UK armed forces make extensive use of the low flying training facilities at Goose Bay and the army training facilities at Wainwright and Suffield. My meeting with the Canadian Minister of National Defence on 21 September included discussions on the future continued use by the UK of these facilities.

Surface Ship Torpedo System

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the financial value for British companies of the joint US-UK surface ship torpedo defence system; and if he will make a statement.     [37718]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Up to £60 million of the total project cost of £80 million is expected to be placed with UK industry. A contract for the current phase of demonstration and validation has been awarded to a consortium led by Westinghouse and a number of British firms, including Ultra, BAeSEMA, Ferranti Thomson Sonar Systems and GEC Ferranti Systems, will benefit.

Privatisation

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proposals he is currently considering regarding the future privatisation of activities and services currently conducted by his Department's personnel; and if he will make a statement;     [37720] (2) which services and activities conducted by his Department are currently the focus of prior options studies.     [37782]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The Ministry of Defence continues to play a full part in the Government's competing for quality initiative, which provides a framework of technique and processes for delivering cost-effective and high -quality defence support through the increased use of competition and private sector involvement. Under the Department's CFQ programme all defence support activities are subject to continuous review by senior managers and budget holders under the prior options process. This process considers privatisation, strategic contracting-out or market testing, the objective in each case being to gain maximum efficiency through exposure to competitive pressures. The


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projects and activities which are considered for review under the CFQ programme are published in "Government Opportunities", available from the Library of the House.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals he is considering for the privatisation of weapons and ammunitions transportation; and if he will make a statement.     [37728]

Mr. Soames: The Ministry of Defence is considering the market testing of its freight distribution service as part of the Government's "Front Line First" initiative. Contractors are being invited to bid in competition with existing military organisations. The transportation of weapons and ammunition is a small part of this overall task. Private companies and manufacturers themselves already move ammunition and explosives on a regular basis. Safety and security will be paramount considerations in the proposed market test. The transportation of freight in the forward operational areas will, however, remain in-house.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the development prospects and potential of unmanned air vehicles.     [37789]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The Army has a requirement for an unmanned surveillance system which, subject to the satisfactory completion of an additional programme of work to resolve remaining technical difficulties, is to be met by Phoenix. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor on 5 April 1995, Official Report , column 1142 , and on 21 April 1995, Official Report , column 308 .

My Department monitors developments in unmanned air vehicles in order to aid assessment of their suitability to meet other future requirements.

Memorandum of Understanding

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the terms of the memorandum of understanding signed with the United States in December 1994 concerning the development and procurement of defence equipment; and if he will place a copy of the memorandum in the Library.     [37809]

Mr. Arbuthnot: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor on 16 December 1994, Official Report , column 822 . It is not our policy to place copies of MOU in the Library of the House.

Early Retirement and Redundancy

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of early retirement and redundancy packages for armed forces personnel for each of the last 10 years.     [37781]

Mr. Soames: During the period from the financial year 1984 85 to 1991 92 there were only a small number of armed forces personnel who left the service on redundancy. The costs incurred would have been relatively minor and are not separately identifiable from the overall pension totals.


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The "Options for Change" redundancy programme began in financial year 1992 93. In that year, redundancy payments of £232 million were made. In 1993 94 and 1994 95 the payments totalled £509 million and £453 million respectively.

These payments include special capital payments, and early payment of terminal grants, commuted pension payments and the first year's payment of immediate pensions.

Defence Agencies

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which services and activities conducted by his Department are currently being considered for defence agency status.     [37785]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The information requested is contained in the "Next Steps Review 1994", Cm 2750, pages xiv and xv, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

Since that document was published, the Army Base Storage and Distribution Agency, the Defence Transport and Movements Executive, the Naval Recruiting and Training Agency and the Army Technical Support Agency have been launched.

Equipment Interoperability

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy regarding equipment and force

interoperability between (a) NATO countries and (b) "Partnership for Peace" countries.      [37796]

Mr. Soames: Our policy is to maximise interoperability with the armed forces of our allies through participation in NATO's training and exercise programmes and by aiming to ensure that equipment purchased for the British armed forces meets agreed NATO interoperability standards, where they are consistent with our operational requirements.

One of PFP's declared objectives is the development, over the longer term, of forces that are better able to operate with NATO allies. Within the PFP planning and review process, partners have agreed specific goals for improving interoperability with alliance forces of units identified for PFP missions and activities.

US-UK Defence Trade

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals for securing a more level playing field in defence trade with the US his Department is currently considering;     [37804] (2) what assessment he has made of the balance of defence trade with the United States of America.     [37786]

Mr. Arbuthnot: We make every effort to promote a two-way street in defence trade with the US where we assess the average ratio over the past five years has been 2:1 in favour of the United States. A level playing field is crucial to this aim and a memorandum of understanding on co- operation in R and D, production, procurement and logistics support of defence equipment is in place to help achieve this.


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Military Exercises

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what international military exercises the British armed forces have carried out with (a) NATO members and (b) former members of the Warsaw pact in each of the last three years.     [37894]

Mr. Soames: The following details cover exercises at company level, or equivalent, or above:

1 April 93 to 31 March 94

(a) Number of exercises carried out with NATO members: 227 (b) Number of exercises carried out with former Warsaw Pact: Nil 1 April 94 to 31 March 95

(a) Number of exercises carried out with NATO members: 203 (b) Number of exercises carried out with former Warsaw Pact: 8 1 April 95 to 31 March 96

(a) Number of exercises carried out with NATO members: 173 (b) Number of exercises carried out with former Warsaw Pact: 10

Computing Devices of Canada

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the financial value of the contract placed with Computing Devices of Canada to supply a software package for the multiple launch rocket system fire control system.     [37792]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Computing Devices of Canada is one of Royal Ordnance's main subcontractors for the development and production of a reduced range practice rocket for use with the Army's multiple launch rocket system. Details of Royal Ordnance's contract with CDC are a matter for the companies.

Future Offensive Aircraft

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has defined a requirement for the future offensive aircraft to replace the Tornado GR1/4; and if he will make a statement.     [37800]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Work to define the requirement for a future offensive aircraft is under way and preliminary studies into relevant technologies are in progress.

Joint Rapid Deployment Force

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current operational capability of the joint rapid deployment force; when it will take part in a full-scale exercise; and what elements will deploy as part of this exercise.     [37774]

Mr. Soames: Our intention is that the joint rapid deployment force should be operational by 1 August 1996. It will bring together the existing operational capabilities of the units assigned to it to best, joint effect in responding to future short-notice contingencies. It is too early to say when it will take part in a full-scale exercise or which units will be involved.

Office Furniture, Keynsham

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who is the supplier of the office furniture for the new


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Ministry of Defence Procurement Executive headquarters in Keynsham; what is the value of the contract; when it was advertised in the contracts supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union; and which is the country of origin of the furniture concerned.     [37816]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Contracts for the supply of office furniture for the new Ministry of Defence Procurement Executive headquarters at Abbey Wood, north Bristol, were recently awarded to Haworth UK Ltd., a central London- based company, and Herman Miller, a Bath-based company. Haworth is contracted to supply office and ancillary chairs at a value of £1.8 million, ex VAT; Herman Miller will be supplying office workstations, containers and ancillary furniture at a value of just under £6.4 million ex VAT. Requests for expressions of interest for the Abbey Wood furniture package were sought following an advertisement placed in the contracts supplement of the Official Journal of the European Union during November 1993. Seventy-five per cent. of the furniture being supplied by Herman Miller is being manufactured and produced in the UK. The majority of the remaining furniture is being sourced from various locations within the EU.

Redundant Military Sites

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the cost of decontaminating his Department's land in each of the last 10 years.     [37780]

Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Defence Procurement on 18 April 1995, Official Report , column 126 .

ASTOR Surveillance System

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are his Department's procurement plans for the ASTOR surveillance system; and if he will state the proposed in-service date.     [37788]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Two consortia are currently undertaking parallel project definition studies to identify the most cost-effective procurement option for the ASTOR surveillance system. These studies are expected to be completed by mid-1996. Once these studies have been evaluated, and subject to the necessary approvals, it is the intention to select a prime contractor, through competition, to carry out full development, production and initial in-service support. It is expected that the contract would be let in 1998. The in-service date for the full system is 2003.

Defence Diversification

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about his Department's policy regarding defence diversification.     [37794]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Defence diversification is a matter for individual companies. It is for them and not for Government to decide what industry should produce, and how to respond to changing markets. My Department's role is to keep companies as well informed as possible about our future requirements to enable them to make soundly based commercial decision about their future strategy.


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Upholder Submarines

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his assessment of the financial cost of maintaining the four Upholder class submarines in their current status.     [37715]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The residual costs of the Upholder programme, pending sale, are of the order of £6 million for 1995 96.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Canadian, (b) Chilean and (c) Portuguese counterparts concerning the transfer or sale of four Upholder class submarines; and if he will make a statement.     [37717]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Since our decision in 1993, announced in Command Paper 2270, to withdraw the four Upholder class submarines from RN service, the Defence Export Services Organisation has offered the submarines for sale or lease to friendly countries.

It is not MOD policy to release information on discussions with any prospective customer without its express agreement. However, I can confirm that a fully costed proposal is being considered by the Canadian Cabinet on whether to acquire the submarines, and a decision is expected before the end of the year.

Commercial Espionage

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the incidence of commercial espionage conducted by other countries against his Department with regard to contract bid information.     [37719]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Threats to my Department are kept under constant review, including the one outlined by the hon. Member.

Road Accidents

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many accidents on public roads involving vehicles owned by his Department have been recorded in each of the past five years; and if he will state in each instance the (a) date and time, (b) location and (c) cause of accident.     [37721]

Mr. Soames: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Tornado

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement of the results of his Department's study into the replacement of the Tornado F3 aircraft by the US F16 aircraft.     [37723]

Mr. Arbuthnot: No such study has been undertaken. We are considering a proposal to upgrade the Tornado F3's weapon systems and, as a routine part of our evaluation process, the comparative costs of other options are being looked at.

Hercules Transport Aircraft

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Hercules C-130J transport aircraft will enter service.     [37727]


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Mr. Arbuthnot: The formal roll-out of the first C-130J took place at Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company Marietta, Atlanta, on 18 October. On current plans the Hercules C-103J transport aircraft will enter service in July 1998.

Extended Range Ordnance

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the projected in-service dates of the 155 mm/52 calibre extended range ordnance and the modular charge system for the AS90.     [37790]

Mr. Arbuthnot: On present plans we expect the first AS90 howitzers to be converted to extended range ordnance with modular charge system by the turn of the century, which would be consistent with the current in- service dates.

Mr. David Hart

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he appointed Mr. David Hart as his independent advisor.     [37888]

Mr. Portillo: I invited Mr. Hart to continue as an unpaid independent adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence when I took up my appointment.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what current procurement contracts Mr. David Hart provides advice.     [37887]

Mr. Portillo: Mr. David Hart is currently providing advice to me on the following equipment projects

EF 2000

ASTOR

Phoneix

Tornado F3 upgrade

Long Range Conventionally Armed Stand Off Missile

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Mr. David Hart provides advice on procurement decisions.     [37803]

Mr. Portillo: I have invited Mr. Hart to provide advice on a small number of procurement issues.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Mr. David Hart was given security clearance for work in his Department; if he holds a Ministry of Defence pass; and what access he has to classified MOD papers.     [37801]

Mr. Portillo: Following his appointment as an unpaid independent adviser by the former Secretary of State for Defence, Mr. Hart was subject to the checks necessary to permit him to have, from time to time, access to classified information. He holds a Ministry of Defence pass.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Mr. David Hart has (a) an office and (b) a secretary within his Department's main building.     [37891]

Mr. Portillo: No. The limited administrative support so far required to enable him to fulfil his role has been provided on a "de minimis" basis.


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Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assurances have been requested from Mr. David Hart concerning his access to confidential information relating to the British defence industry.     [37886]

Mr. Portillo: Mr. Hart fully accepts his duty to the Crown to safeguard all information, documents, or other articles given to him by the MOD; and knows that, like any other individual, he is subject to provisions of the Official Secrets Act 1989. In addition, he owes me a personal duty of confidence.

Mr. Hart also knows that he must declare any conflict between his private interests and his role as my independent adviser, so that I could then decide how to proceed.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what capacity Mr. David Hart attends departmental meetings.     [37802]

Mr. Portillo: As my unpaid independent adviser.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with Mr. David Hart concerning the situation in the former Yugoslavia.     [37892]

Mr. Portillo: I have discussed various aspects of the situation in the former Yugoslavia with Mr. Hart.


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HEALTH

Hypothermia

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many death certificates mentioned hypothermia as (a) main cause of death or (b) contributory cause of death in each year and in each month for the past five years;     [37312]

(2) pursuant to his answer of 20 January, Official Report , column 1125 , how many people died of hypothermia in (a) 1993 and (b) 1994, by regional health authority and in Wales.     [37352]

Mr. Sackville: The coding of causes of death in England and Wales was changed in 1993. Though the results from this are generally satisfactory, the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys has identified significant problems in the coding of external causes of death. Certifications of deaths in 1993 and 1994 which could have been due to external causes are all being examined and re-coded as necessary. More reliable data, comparable to that for previous years, will be available in 1996. These problems may have affected the results for hypothermia in 1993 and 1994.

The figures for 1990, 1991 and 1992 are shown in the table.


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