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Married Quarters Estate

Mr. Richard Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those companies which have expressed interest at any stage during the proposed sale of married quarters estate for whom an hon. Member acts as an advisor, consultant or director. [38613]

Mr. Arbuthnot: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, I am unable to disclose the identity of companies or other parties who have expressed an interest in the sale of the married quarters estate. However, the successful bidder will of course be announced when the sale is complete, and we shall at that point disclose as fully as possible the details of the transaction. Meanwhile, a copy of the preliminary information memorandum, which sets out the main features of the sale of the married quarters estate, is in the Library of the House. Further detailed information on the sale is contained in the

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Defence Committee's sixth report of Session 1995-96, published on 16 July (HC 424). The registered interests of hon. Members is a matter of public record.

Remploy Ltd.

Mr. Hutton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total value of all contracts placed by his Department with Remploy Ltd. in each of the last five years, in 1996 prices. [38345]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The following figures have been extracted from the central contracts database and are based on the financial year from 1 April to 31 March of the years in question. The values have not been converted to a 1996 baseline. It is possible that there may be other contracts placed in recent years by various Defence agencies which are no longer recorded on the central database. Identifying these could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost and it should be noted that as a result of this, a direct comparison from year to year may not show an accurate picture of the pattern of business with the company.


Public Assets (Sale)

Mr. Richard Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will ensure that all information which is made available to those tendering for the sale of public assets held by his Department is also available to hon. Members before any debate on such a sale; [38614]

Mr. Arbuthnot: Information that is made available to those tendering for the sale of public assets held by my Department is also available to third parties except where such information is security classified or commercially confidential. Such information may not be passed on without the prior approval of my Department. Access to information provided by those who are responding to tenders for the sale of assets is a matter for the company concerned. The release of information in either direction to hon. Members will be determined by their status in relation to the bidding company.

Defence Postal and Courier Services

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost of publishing and distributing the annual report and accounts for 1995-96 of Defence Postal and Courier Services; and how many copies were printed.[38575]

Mr. Soames: This is a matter for the Defence Postal and Courier Services under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.

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Letter from T. McG. Brown to Mr. Robert Key, dated 22 July 1996:


Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the correct postal address of the Defence Postal and Courier Service's mail 2000 centre at Plymouth. [38574]

Mr. Soames: This is a matter for the Defence Postal and Courier Services under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from T. McG. Brown to Mr. Robert Key, dated 22 July 1996:


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Average Wind Speeds (Northern Ireland)

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the average wind speed in Northern Ireland for each month of the last available full year at (a) sea level, (b) between 200 and 300 ft altitude, (c) at 600 to 700 ft altitude, or as much of such information as is readily available to him. [38639]

Mr. Arbuthnot: This is a matter for the Meteorological Office under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive of the Meteorological Office to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from M. A. Bittleston to Mr. William Ross, dated 22 July 1996:


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Chemical Defence Establishment

Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent volunteers in the service volunteers programme at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, are informed before experiments of the possible long-term health effects of the chemical or chemical agent which is to be tested on them; and when this practice was introduced. [37621]

Mr. Arbutnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


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Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research has been carried out by the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, to investigate if (a) delayed recurrent keratitis of the eye, (b) chronic bronchitis and (c) emphysema can be caused by short-term exposure to mustard gas; when this research was carried out; and what were the results. [37618]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information is provided to the War Pensions Agency by the Chemical Defence Establishment when individuals who took part in experiments at Porton Down claim disablement arising out of these experiments; if this information is available in its entirety to the claimant; and to what extent it includes (a) technical reports produced by Porton Down and (b) Porton Down's original laboratory data of the relevant experiments. [37619]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


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Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many scientific papers in the Porton memorandum series were produced by the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down; when the first paper in the series was produced; when the series was closed; and how many papers in this series are currently unclassified. [37616]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the ban on military and civilian aircraft flying over the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down began; and what factors underlay the decision to ban flights. [37615]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the Chemical Defence Establishment's assessment of the effect on human health, in the (a) short-term and (b) long-term, of one-off exposure to Adamsite; and what research the establishment has conducted into such exposure. [37613]

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Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what studies have been carried out by the Chemical Defence Establishment Porton Down since 1966 to evaluate the long-term health effects of short-term exposure to the nerve agent Tabun; when these studies were conducted; and what were their conclusions; [37612]

    (2) how many volunteers in the service volunteers programme at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, have been exposed to the nerve agent Tabun since 1966; when was the last time that volunteers were exposed; and what was the conclusion reached following these experiments. [37620]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 16 July 1996]: These matters are for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 July 1996:


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