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Correspondence

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he intends to write to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak giving the information requested on the cost of ministeral transport in each of the past five years, on allowances paid to Ministers who use their own vehicles and on the cost in each of the past five years as undertaken on 3 November, Official Report, column 476.

Mr. Arbuthnot: I wrote to the hon. Member yesterday.

Indonesian Armed Forces (Training)

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Indonesian armed forces have received training at United Kingdom armed forces institutions in each year since 1983. [3138]

Mr. Soames: The UK has provided training for Indonesian students during this period. Details of training, including the numbers involved, are, however, regarded as confidential between Governments.

Anti-tank Mines

Mr. Forman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to enhance the Army's anti-tank mine capability; and if he will make a statement. [3609]

Mr. Arbuthnot: I have agreed to the procurement of 29 vehicle-launched scatterable mine systems from Alliant Techsystems of the United States, subject to the satisfactory conclusion of a contract. VLSMS will provide the Army with a key capability to lay anti-tank minefields at short notice in support of armoured formations. This decision will result in work equivalent to around half the value of the contract being undertaken by UK firms as part of the industrial participation arrangements of the programme, including work for Alvis, which makes the Stormer carrier vehicle.

Equipment Programmes

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the effect on in-service dates for each major equipment programme listed in tables 3, 4 and 5 of the "Statement on the Defence Estimates 1995" of the Budget settlement for defence. [2271]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The settlement provides the resources necessary to maintain and enhance the front-line capabilities of the armed forces, and to provide the support they need to carry out their wide range of tasks.

Army Surgeons

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number of regular Army surgeons employed by his Department in each of the last five years. [2054]

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Mr. Soames [holding answer 23 November 1995]: The number of trained specialist, senior specialist and consultant regular Army surgeons, comprising the disciplines of general surgery, ophthalmics, burns and plastics, maxillo-facial, orthopaedics and ear-nose-throat--oto-rhino-laryngology-- employed during each of the last four years is as follows:


The grade of specialist is not deployable to meet the war commitment for surgeons. Figures are not available for 1991.

"Partnership for Peace"

Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is being given to Russian officers on the civic education in a democracy and human rights in the armed services under NATO's "Partnership for Peace" programme; and if he will make a statement. [2768]

Mr. Soames: I have been asked to reply.

One of the main objectives of "Partnership for Peace" is to ensure democratic control of the armed forces. Russia has indicated interest, through their individual partnership programme in the following related areas:


Implementation of Russia's IPP has not yet commenced.

The United Kingdom is, however, undertaking bilateral initiatives in this area. As part of our Outreach programme, a seminar, "Armed Forces and Society", is to be held in London from 12 to 14 December. Representatives from the Russian Ministry of Defence are expected to attend.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Transsexuals

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce legislation to allow a change in the legal status of post-operative transsexuals; and if he will make a statement. [2351]

Mr. Kirkhope: None.

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Ticket Touting

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the value of the ticket touting market; and if he will make a statement. [2353]

Mr. Maclean: My Department has no such estimate.

Juries

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary for the Home Department what measures are in place to ensure that juries represent the social mix in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [2350]

Mr. Maclean: It is a fundamental principle of our jury system that juries should as far as possible represent a cross-section of society drawn at random from the community as a whole. Any person between the ages of 18 and 70 is eligible to serve on a jury, unless they are disqualified in one of a number of specified ways.

Passports

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made on the introduction of machine-readable passports. [2917]

Mr. Kirkhope: The phased introduction of the machine-readable passport commenced in 1988 and was completed in 1991. Since then, all passports issued in the United Kingdom have been machine-readable.

Prisons

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the capacity of United Kingdom prisons, per category and in total, for each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [2343]

Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary director general of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

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Letter from Alan Walker to Mr. Alex Carlile, dated 29 November 1995:


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 767

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 767

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 767

Mr. Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the latest figure for the population in custody, per category and in total; and if he will make a statement. [2344]

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Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary director general of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 769

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Alex Carlile, dated 29 November 1995:



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