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Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the radiation readings, reported to his Department by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt on 13 January 1981, were judged to have posed any threat to Lieutenant Colonel Halt and his team; who assessed the readings; how the radiation compared with background radiation in the area; and if he will make a statement. [2934]

Mr. Soames: There is no record of any official assessment of the radiation readings reported by Lieutenant Colonel Halt.

11 Nov 1996 : Column: 27


Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to meet his Indian counterpart to discuss India's concerns over signing the comprehensive test ban treaty. [2930]

Mr. Soames: None, but we routinely discuss a wide range of issues with the Indian Government.

Armoured Vehicles

Mr. Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what maintenance is currently being carried out to armoured vehicles at Ashchurch which was previously dealt with at the Army vehicle depot at Ludgershall. [2933]

Mr. Soames: This is a matter for the chief executive of the Army Base Storage and Distribution Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from K. J. W. Goad to Mr. Paul Murphy, dated 11 November 1996:

11 Nov 1996 : Column: 28

Royal Squadron

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who, other than entitled members of the royal family, are passengers entitled to use the royal squadron. [3097]

Mr. Soames: In addition to the royal family, No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron aircraft may be used by Government Ministers, senior officers and officials of the MOD in fulfilment of their official duties, as well as meeting operational, exercise and flying training requirements. Visiting foreign dignitaries may also be flown, when appropriate: such additional usage adds to overall cost effectiveness.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) civilians and (b) service personnel are employed by his Department; and what was the total cost of employing each category. [3238]

Mr. Soames: The information requested is contained in the UK defence statistics 1996, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The latest available estimates of costs are contained in table 1.2 and the related figures for numbers of personnel are in table 2.1.

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Principal headings of the Defence budget Current prices (£ million)

Outturn Outturn Estimate
Total expenditure5,34611,18217,94322,29823,76223,42422,51921,71521,425
Expenditure on personnel2,5304,5566,3798,81110,5049,8359,3138,6848,516
of the Armed Forces1,3052,4603,5104,8115,6346,9076,4906,1756,191
of the retired Armed Forces2555038991,4061,950--------
of civilian staff9701,5931,9702,5942,9202,9282,8232,5092,325
Expenditure on equipment1,7924,8858,1938,8388,7119,2008,8199,0198,460
Other expenditure1,0241,7413,3714,6494,5474,3894,3874,0124,449
Works, buildings and land3946231,4132,0671,7802,0732,4021,9171,858
Miscellaneous stores and services6301,1181,9582,5822,7672,3161,9852,0952,591
Total expenditure at 1994-95 prices25,12925,48528,85626,95625,18124,16122,51920,96320,129

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Percentage of total expenditure

Outturn Outturn Estimate
1975-761980-811985-861990-911992-931993-94(8)1994-95(9) 1995-961996-97
Expenditure on personnel47.340.735.639.544.242.041.340.039.8
of the Armed Forces24.422.019.621.623.729.528.828.428.9
of the retired Armed Forces4.
of civilian staff18.
Expenditure on equipment33.543.745.739.636.739.339.241.339.4
Other expenditure19.215.618.820.919.118.719.518.520.8
Works, buildings and land7.
Miscellaneous stores etc.11.810.010.911.611.


MOD Resources and Programmes (Finance).

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Regular service and civilian personnel strength

1 AprilThousands
Total personnel664.3605.0542.9487.0476.3468.9438.9404.0371.8354.0
Split by:
UK personnel606.0560.4500.3447.1438.3432.9404.1376.0349.5332.3
Locally entered/engaged59.444.642.640.
Royal Irish (Home Service)------------


DASA (Civilian and tri-service).

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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the (a) gross and (b) net expenditure by the United Kingdom on NATO in each of the last five years, with a breakdown between the (i) military, (ii) infrastructure and (iii) civil budget; what is the percentage contribution the United Kingdom makes to each budget; and what is the total spending by NATO under each budget for each of those years. [1678]

Mr. Soames: The United Kingdom contributes between 17.58 and 21.98 per cent. of NATO's military budget, and between 10.5394 and 12.1757 per cent. of the security investment programme--formerly known as the infrastructure programme--budget, depending on whether 14, 15 or all 16 nations are participating in any particular segment of the programme; total expenditure on each budget, and the UK's gross and net contributions for each of the last five years are shown in the table.

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UK contributions to NATO budgets(5)
Military budget(6)

Overall NATO budgetUK contribution

SIP (Infrastructure)

£ million
Overall NATO budgetUK contribution (gross)UK contribution (net)

(5)The SIP and military budgets are calculated in NATO artificial currencies, known as accounting units, and paid in instalments. The exchange rates between these units and individual national currencies vary during the year. The above figures are calculated using the exchange rates in force at the time each payment was made.

(6)UK receipts from the military budget are minimal (of the order of £400,000K pa).

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The UK contribution to the civil budget is almost entirely funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This budget has been maintained at zero real growth throughout the last five years with the UK contribution set at 18.82 per cent. The 1995 budget was £115 million, of which the UK's contribution was £21.6 million.

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