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Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 November 1997, Official Report, column 66, how many technical papers and reports were produced by the Project Director Facilities Division between 1986 and 1991; and how many of them are currently unclassified. [24655]

Mr. Spellar: The purpose of the Project Director Facilities Division was to oversee the major programme of building and refurbishment projects then under way at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston. As such it did not produce technical papers. Details of reports and internal documents produced by the division are not held centrally and a census would require unreasonable diversion of resources. I am, therefore, withholding this information in accordance with exemption 9 of the Code of Practice for Open Government.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 186

Defence Export Services Organisation

Mr. Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the overseas offices of the Defence Export Services Organisation are situated; if he will list for each office (a) the date it was established, (b) the number of staff currently employed there and (c) the running cost in the last year for which figures are available. [24837]

Mr. Spellar: DESO offices are located overseas are as follows:

Date establishedNumber of staffBudget 1997-98 (£000)
Australia19892106
Brunei19952104
Germany199116340
India1984549.5
Indonesia19913190
Kuwait(24)19889149
Malaysia19864.5172
Philippines19973213
Saudi Arabia(25)198599.5104
South Korea19882108.8
Thailand19922.5110
Turkey1988174

(24) Six staff are employed in the Kuwait Programme Office and are funded by the Customer.

(25) 97 staff are employed on the Al Yamamah programme and are funded by the customer.


Mr. Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the total administrative cost of the Defence Export Services Organisation in (a) 1994-95 and (b) 1996-97. [24839]

Mr. Spellar: The net running cost of operating the Defence Export Services Organisation in my Department was £10.94 million in Financial Year 1994-95 and £16.61 million in Financial Year 1996-97.

During this latter year, the organisation generated some £84.4 million from sales of surplus military equipment. Additionally, as a result of overseas orders, the Department annually secures around £50 million in Commercial Exploitation Levies and saves around £344 million on its own procurement costs by spreading overheads over higher levels of production. DESO therefore earns benefits for the taxpayer that far outweigh these costs.

Pilot Training (Indonesia)

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training programmes for Indonesian pilots have been established in the United Kingdom; what United Kingdom military personnel are in Indonesia training pilots; how many Indonesians are currently being trained by how many United Kingdom armed forces personnel; and where this training is taking place. [25254]

Dr. Reid: It has been the practice in the past not to release details of military assistance provided to other countries on the grounds that this information is confidential between governments and disclosure would risk damaging our international relations. This practice is now being reviewed against the background of the Government's commitment to openness. I will write to my hon. Friend once the review has been completed.

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 187

Food Procurement

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the procurement of (a) food in general and (b) beef. [25009]

Mr. Spellar: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Key) on 19 January 1998, Official Report, column 415. This policy applies to beef.

Overseas Students (Shrivenham)

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for each of the past five years the number of overseas students attending the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, indicating the name of the country and the number of students concerned. [25449]

Dr. Reid: The total numbers of overseas students who have attended the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS), Shrivenham for each of the past five years are as follows:






It has been the practice of successive Administrations not to release specific details of military assistance provided to other countries on the grounds that this information has been considered confidential between governments, and that disclosure would risk damaging our international relations. However, this practice is being reviewed against the background of the Government's commitment to openness, and I will write to my hon. Friend once the review is complete.

Porton Down

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many animals bred at Porton Down were sold for scientific use at other establishments for each year from 1990 to date, giving the species of animals and the establishments concerned. [24829]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 January 1998]: This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Norman Baker, dated 27 January 1998:



27 Jan 1998 : Column: 188

Financial yearPorton micePorton ratsCommon marmosetsRhesus
1990-9162023015617
1991-9240305233
1992-9345001828
1993-94235019856
1994-952000060
1995-9640214815
1996-97009521
1997-9800042

Animals are only supplied to UK establishments designated for scientific procedures under section 6 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or to non-UK users who can provide evidence that they meet welfare standards that match or exceed those of the UK, and for approved purposes.

Under exemptions 4e and 4f of the Open Government Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, I am not prepared to reveal the names of scientific establishments to which DERA has sold animals.

I hope this is helpful.


EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Welfare to Work

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what is the total number of young people unemployed for more than six months whom the Government expect to participate in their welfare-to-work scheme in 1998-99, broken down between those who will be eligible in April 1998 and those expected to become eligible in each successive month; [25102]

Mr. Andrew Smith: It is not possible to provide precise estimates of the numbers of young people aged 18-24 who will take part in the New Deal. In 1998-99, the programme will benefit all young people who have been unemployed for more than six months and who remain unemployed, and all those who reach six months' unemployment. In addition, some young people will choose to join the New Deal early.

By convention, the Government do not publish forecasts of unemployment. In October 1997, some 120,000 18-24 year olds were recorded as having claimed Jobseeker's Allowance for six months or more. Each month, about 15-20,000 18-24 year olds reach six months' claimant unemployment.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the legal status of the agreement to which employers must subscribe when they participate in the welfare-to-work scheme; and what penalties will be imposed on employers who breach it. [25107]

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 189

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Employer Agreement enshrines legally binding terms and conditions designed to secure the quality of those jobs to which the subsidy may be applied. It also includes a pledge, signed by the Employer, by which they commit to working with the Employment Service and its partners to make a success of the New Deal. Where the employer is in breach of these terms and conditions, the Employment Service can take any or all of the following actions, depending on the circumstances:






Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if the Government will give a break-down by (a) ethnic origin and (b) gender of the young people unemployed for more than six months expected to participate in their welfare-to-work scheme in 1998-99. [25103]

Mr. Andrew Smith: It is not possible to provide precise estimates of the numbers of young people who will require help from the New Deal. The programme will help young people who are, or who become, unemployed for six months or more, irrespective of ethnic origin or gender. The latest published data show that, in October 1997, around three quarters of those aged 18-24 who had been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for six months or more were men. The claimant count does not provide information on the ethnic origin of JSA claimants. The summer 1997 Labour Force Survey suggests that around 10 per cent. of all 18-24 year olds who had been unemployed according to the ILO definition for six months or more were members of ethnic minorities.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, following the Chancellor's announcement of 12 January 1998 of the extension of the Government's New Deal programme to those aged 25 to 34, if benefit claimants in that age group will be obliged to join the scheme with no fifth option of claiming benefits. [25111]

27 Jan 1998 : Column: 190

Mr. Andrew Smith: We are currently finalising the details of the extension and will announce them as soon as possible.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many small and medium businesses, broken down by size of workforce, the Government expect to participate in their welfare-to-work programme. [25101]

Mr. Andrew Smith: It is too early to make an estimate; but we are seeking extensive participation by small and medium businesses, and are encouraged by preliminary indicating such as the support expressed by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State of State for Education and Employment if the Government will publish the agreement to which employers must subscribe when they participate in the welfare-to-work scheme. [25106]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Employer Agreement is already in the public domain. It has been circulated throughout the pathfinder districts as part of the New Deal literature, and I have placed a copy in the Library.

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many ex-offenders are taking part in the (a) employment, (b) education, (c) environment and (d) voluntary option of the Welfare-to-Work Scheme. [25923]

Mr. Andrew Smith: This information will not be available until later in the year.


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