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MOD Police

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the performance of the MOD Police Headquarters; and how many cases relating to (a) grievance and (b) disciplinary procedures took (i) six months or more and (ii) 12 months or more to reach a conclusion in (1) 1996-97, (2) 1995-96 and (3) 1994-95. [46495]

Dr. Reid: The Ministry of Defence Police is an executive agency and therefore subject to the same review procedures as all other departmental executive agencies. I have made no specific assessment of the performance of the MOD Police Headquarters in addition to the normal agency reviews. The information requested on the duration of grievance and disciplinary cases is as follows:


YearGrievance cases 6 months to 12 months to conclusionGrievance cases 12 months or more to conclusion


The current grievance procedure was not adopted by the MDP until July 1995 and so the information is available only from the year 1995-97 onwards

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YearDiscipline cases 6 months to 12 months to conclusionDiscipline cases 12 months or more to conclusion


Figures for the year 1994-95 cover the 15 month period from 1 January 1994 to 31 March 1995

Gender Impact Assessments

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of gender impact assessments which have been undertaken in respect of legislation introduced in this Parliament; if he will make it his policy to do so in respect of future legislation; and if he will make a statement. [47017]

Dr. Reid: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Women on 24 June 1998, Official Report, columns 557-58.

Divisional Headquarters, York

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the proposed closure of Divisional Headquarters in York. [47101]

Dr. Reid: No proposals have been put to Ministers for the closure of the Divisional Headquarters at York. Various options are under consideration as part of the study into the future divisional structure of the Army in the United Kingdom, details of which I set out in the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for City of York (Mr. Bayley) on 16 January 1998, Official Report, column 349.

Death Penalty

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department's inquiry into the retention of the death penalty in military law will be completed. [45740]

Dr. Reid: [holding answer 17 June 1998]: Consideration of the review is now in the final stages and I will advise the House of the outcome as soon as possible.

Greenwich Hospital Site

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implementation of long-term plans at the Greenwich Hospital site under section 26 of the Armed Forces Act 1996. [46650]

Dr. Reid: I assume the question refers to section 30 of the Armed Forces Act 1996. The section requires my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to have regard to the heritage of the Royal Naval College site at Greenwich, the desirability of securing reasonable public access to it, and to prevent use out of keeping with its unique history and character. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence hopes soon to be able to conclude a head lease with the Greenwich Foundation, an independent charitable trust, whose intentions for the site are entirely consistent with Section 30(2). The plans for

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the future of the site, which include planned occupation by the University of Greenwich, are being developed by the Foundation in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Culture, Media and Sport and for Defence.

Large Aircraft

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when is the anticipated delivery date of the C130-J aircraft; when it was originally due to be delivered; what compensation has been offered for its late delivery; and if he will cancel the order of C130-Js due to late delivery. [46822]

Mr. Spellar: On current plans, the Ministry of Defence will receive delivery of the first aircraft for test and evaluation in mid 1998. It was originally due to be delivered in November 1996. We will be claiming liquidated damages from the company, currently estimated at £30 million, which will be used to offset the additional costs incurred by the MOD. We have no plans to cancel the contract.

RAF Stanmore Park

Mr. McNulty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for the dismantling of RAF operations at RAF Stanmore Park and for the disposal of the site; and if he will make a statement. [46919]

Mr. Spellar: RAF Stanmore Park formally closed on 1 April 1997 with units transferring to RAF Bentley Priory. However, until the necessary work to provide messing and accommodation at RAF Bentley Priory is complete, use will continue to be made of facilities at Stanmore Park. Although on current plans the site will not be vacated until 1 June 1999, a marketing strategy is already being prepared by the Defence Estates Organisation in order that an open market sale can take place as soon as possible thereafter.

Parachute Regiment

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he proposes to make an announcement about the future roles of (a) the Parachute Regiment and (b) 24 Air Mobile Brigade. [46813]

Dr. Reid: A package of proposals, covering all our Armed Forces, has been submitted to the Cabinet. Once decisions have been taken, the results of the Strategic Defence Review will be published in a White Paper as quickly as possible thereafter.

WE177 Weapon

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the estimated cost of withdrawing and dismantling the WE177 weapon. [46824]

Mr. Spellar: The estimated cost of dismantling WE177 is some £23m; withdrawal costs are not separately identifiable.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many WE177 weapons were manufactured by his Department before the weapon was withdrawn from service; and in what years these weapons were manufactured. [46826]

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Mr. Spellar: WE177 was manufactured between 1966 and 1977. Regular servicing was carried out as necessary to ensure continued safety and reliability whilst in service. I am withholding information as to the number of weapons manufactured under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Government Information relating to Defence, Security and International Relations.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which contractors and Ministry of Defence organisations designed each variant of the WE177 weapon; and when this work was carried out. [46825]

Mr. Spellar: Design work for WE177 was started over 30 years ago with the design for the first variant completed in 1963, the second in 1965, and the last in 1972.

The co-ordinating design authority for all WE177 variants was Hunting Engineering, with the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment as design authority for the warhead element. The Royal Ordnance Factories at Burghfield, Cardiff and Chorley, RAF Farnborough, and RARDE Fort Halstead assisted in the work, as did a number of other contractors. Given the age of the programme, it has not been possible to compile a full and accurate list.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 1997, Official Report, column 581, if the weights, sizes and yields of each type of the WE177 weapon are now declassified information. [47804]

Mr. Spellar: Information on the size and weight of all three variants of the WE177 bomb is unclassified and is listed. Technical details relating to the performance of the weapons, including yield, which would reveal information about our design capabilities, or aspects of current operational systems, or be of assistance to proliferators, continues to be covered by exemption 1 of the code of practice on access to Government information relating to defence security and international relations.

Type A600lb112 inches long
Type B950lb133 inches long
Type C950lb133 inches long

All variants had a diameter of 16.5 inches and a fin span of 24.5 inches.

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