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Rudolf Hess (Death Certificate)

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what account was taken of the authority provided by the four power protocol dated 6 April 1954 in the decision (a) to cancel the death certificate of Rudolf Hess on 2 August 1995 and (b) to refuse to reinstate the death certificate either (i) in its original form or (ii) in the amended form requested by his next of kin; [13488]

Mrs. Angela Knight [holding answer 30 January 1997]: The Registrar General of England and Wales decided to cancel the death registration of Rudolph Hess on the basis that the entry had not been made in accordance with statute. Once it was known that the entry had been made in error, there was no basis on which to reinstate the entry or amend its content. The relevant legislation provides only for the registration outside England and Wales of the births and deaths of members of the armed forces, service civilians and families.

The application of Rudolph Hess's next of kin to amend his death entry drew attention to the fact that the registration had not been made within the legal provisions. The status of the registration had not been questioned previously.

6 Feb 1997 : Column: 681


Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 421, if he will list the dates (a) he and (b) his predecessor have been in residence at Dorneywood since 1993. [14652]

Mr. Rifkind: (a) Never. (b) Never.

Revenue and Expenditure Balance (Scotland)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 13 January, Official Report, columns 25-26, if he will estimate the total surplus or deficit of Government expenditure and revenue in Scotland for each year from 1997-98 to 2001-02 assuming a constant relationship between the Scottish deficit, as published in "Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 1994-95" and the United Kingdom general Government borrowing requirement excluding privatisation proceeds and North sea revenues for 1994-95 and including in the Scottish total for each year a 90 per cent. share of North sea revenue and an 8.8 per cent. share of privatisation proceeds using the projections for (a) the United Kingdom Government borrowing requirement (b) projections for privatisation proceeds and other financial transactions published in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report 1997-98" and (c) the projections for North sea revenues published in that report and produced by the Inland Revenue for later years. [13908]

Mr. Waldegrave [holding answer 31 January 1997]: The table provides the information necessary to make the calculations requested by the hon. Member. However, as the hon. Member should be fully aware, his proposed methodology is a ridiculous way of either projecting the Scottish deficit, or estimating the Scottish deficit in past years.

The Scottish contribution to the borrowing requirement depends on the proportion of total Government expenditure incurred, and the proportion of total Government revenues raised, in Scotland. Even if each of these proportions were to remain stable over time at their 1994-95 levels, there is no reason why the ratio of borrowing in Scotland to that in the UK should also be stable. This is a straightforward arithmetical truism. In practice, the ratio changes markedly between years. Moreover, in some recent years, Scotland has had a deficit when the UK has had a budget surplus.

It follows that estimates of the cumulative Scottish deficit since 1978-79 and-or projections of it, based on the assumption of a stable ratio between the Scottish and UK deficits, are rendered totally meaningless.

My answer of 13 January incorporated the same assumption, at the hon. Member's request. I am pleased to set the answer in its proper context by emphasising how far that assumption is from the reality of Scotland's expenditure and revenue flows.

6 Feb 1997 : Column: 682

Budget forecasts and projections of the General Government borrowing requirement (GGBR), North Sea tax revenues and privatisation proceeds

£ billion
Privatisation proceeds (PPs)2.01.5111
North sea tax revenues4.
GGBR excluding PPs and North sea tax revenues25.8188-3-13


The Scottish GGBR excluding North sea tax revenues and privatisation proceeds was £8.2 billion in 1994-95 (source: "Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland", table 12). The comparable figure for the UK was £45.8 billion.


Tables 4.1 and 4.6, "Financial Statement and Budget Report, 1996", and Inland Revenue.Figures for 1997-98 are forecasts, figures for later years are projections. Figures for the GGBR in 1998-99 and beyond are rounded to the nearest £1 billion. Constituent items may not sum to totals because of rounding.


Chemical Weapons (Iraq)

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when United Nations inspectors were informed by the Iraqi authorities that the ammunition dump at Kamisiyah in southern Iraq blown up by US troops had contained chemical war weapons; what consideration his Department gave at that time to any possible connection between the destruction of the ammunition dump and undiagnosed illnesses among service personnel who served in the Gulf war; what more recent consideration has been given to a possible connection; and if he will make a statement. [14075]

Mr. Soames: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Queen's Flight (Helicopters)

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) type and (b) number of helicopters are currently operated by the Queen's Flight; when they were transferred to the flight; and when they are due for replacement. [14639]

Mr. Soames: No 32 (the Royal) Squadron currently operates two Wessex HC4 helicopters which entered service with the Queen's Flight in 1969, and two Twin Squirrel helicopters which entered service on 1 April 1996. No decisions have yet been taken on the replacement of the Wessex. The Twin Squirrels are operated by the RAF under a lease arrangement.

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in each of the last 10 years the Wessex helicopters of the Queen's flight were used by members of the royal family. [14641]

6 Feb 1997 : Column: 683

Mr. Soames: The Wessex helicopters of No. 32 (the Royal) Squadron and, prior to 1 April 1995, the Queen's Flight were used by members of the royal family on the following number of occasions:

Guard Duty, Plymouth

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the average number of hours worked per week, (b) the average number of hours worked per day and (c) the number of guards working 12-hour shifts in respect of the service personnel on guard duty at Stanchane barracks and royal naval base, Plymouth. [14392]

Mr. Soames: Service guards in the naval base and Stonehouse barracks work a mixture of rostered shifts and time on other duties. Twelve-hour shifts, including an element of stand-by time, are worked in the naval base and over the year guards average a 42-hour working week. Royal Marines generally undertake security duties on a more rotational basis. When employed on guard in Stonehouse barracks they generally work 24-hour shifts, including time on stand-by with sleeping facilities, followed by 24 hours off.

RAF Valley (Helicopters)

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Wessex search and rescue helicopters based at RAF Valley were replaced by Sea Kings. [14640]

Mr. Soames: The timing of the replacement of Wessex helicopters based at RAF Valley with Sea King Mk3s is linked to the introduction into operational RAF service elsewhere of the Sea King Mk3A. This has been delayed by unforeseen technical difficulties. Remedial work is, however, progressing well and we currently estimate that the Sea King Mk3A will enter operational service in mid-summer. This will permit the redeployment of Sea King Mk3s to RAF Valley soon afterwards.

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