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Armed Forces Pension Scheme

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if representations from the public can be made to the review of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme; [67125]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The Review of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, announced in September 1998, is under way and is expected to take about a year.

The Armed Forces are fully involved in the current Review of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. During the course of the Review, the MOD will be seeking the views of a wide range of groups including the ex-Service organisations and those responsible for other pension schemes in the public and private sectors. I wrote to a number of interested organisations and individuals when announcing the Review. In due course we shall invite comments from the public in the extensive consultation exercise, but the MOD will, of course, take account of views put forward by the public at any stage.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what responsibilities which his Department had prior to the Comprehensive Spending Review are to be (a) discontinued by his Department, (b) transferred to another department, (c) transferred to an executive agency and (d) added to his Department over the period 1998-99 to 2001-02. [68402]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The Strategic Defence Review, which was a policy-led, fundamental reassessment of Britain's security interests and defence needs, considered the roles, missions and capabilities of our Armed Forces in the light of the changed strategic situation. The Review also constituted the Ministry of Defence's contribution to the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

The overall responsibilities of the MoD remain unchanged. Accordingly, under current planning assumptions, for the period 1998-99 to 2001-02 no responsibilities held by the Ministry of Defence before the CSR will be discontinued by this department or transferred to another department. Nor is it planned that any new responsibilities will be added to those held by the Department over this period.

A number of responsibilities will, as announced in the Strategic Defence Review, be transferred to new agencies. These are as follows: the Defence Aviation and Repair Agency will take on the aviation repair activities currently

4 Feb 1999 : Column: 730

performed by the Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation and the RAF Maintenance Group. Both these old agencies will then cease to exist.

Responsibility for the storage, processing and distribution of non explosives will be taken up by the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency. On launching this agency, the Army Bases Storage and Distribution Agency will cease to exist. All explosives storage and distribution will be handled by the Naval Bases and Supply Agency.

The Defence Transport and Movements Agency will be an amalgamation of the Defence Transport and Movements Executive, the Air Movements Executive and the Joint Transport and Movements Staff and will take on the current responsibilities of these organisations. The Procurement Executive is due to become the Defence Procurement Agency and will also subsume the activities of the Specialist Procurement Services Agency.

Also as part of the development of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency's relationship to the private sector, the Defence Diversification Agency began operating in December 1998. This agency aims to encourage the transfer of technology to and from industry.

Although not part of the Strategic Defence Review, the Defence Housing Executive is due to launch as an agency on 1 April 1999.

Posthumous Pardons

Mr. Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) those serving soldiers who were executed in the First World War in respect of whom posthumous pardons have been sought who were born or resident on the Wirral and (b) the (i) names, (ii) regiments and (iii) offences of serving soldiers executed in the First World War who were in the (1) Cheshire Regiment and (2) Liverpool Regiment. [69243]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The place of birth and home address of accused soldiers were not routinely included in the record of their Court Martial. This information would normally be available in the individual soldier's service records, but the destruction of the majority of First World War soldiers' documents due to enemy action in 1940 means that we have no complete authoritative source for this information.

The following soldiers serving with the Cheshire Regiment and the King's Liverpool Regiment were executed in the First World War:

    Pte. E. Bolton (10263), 1st Bn.

    CM for Desertion.

    Executed on 14/4/16.

    Pte. E. Bryant (20101), 10th Bn.

    CM for 2 x Desertion

    Executed on 27/10/17.

    Pte. J. Cuthbert (28719), 9th Bn.

    CM for Disobedience.

    Executed on 6/5/16.

    L/Cpl. (Pte.) J. Holland (13857), 10th Bn.

    CM for Cowardice and Leaving Post.

    Executed on 30/5/16.

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    Pte. (L/Cpl.) W. A. Moon (17790), 11th Bn.

    CM for Desertion.

    Executed 21/11/16.

    Cpl. G. H. Povey (10459), 1st Bn.

    CM for Leaving Post.

    Executed on 10/2/15.

    King's Liverpool Regiment

    Pte. J. Anderson (20062), 12th Bn.

    CM for Cowardice.

    Executed on 12/9/16.

    Pte. J. Brennan (4567), 1/8th Bn.

    CM for Desertion.

    Executed on 16/7/16.

    Pte. J. McFarlane (265427), 4th Bn.

    CM for Desertion x 3 (Guilty 1 x Desertion and 2 x AWOL).

    Executed on 22/5/18.

    Pte. B. McGeehan (2974), 1/8th Bn.

    CM for Desertion.

    Executed on 2/11/16.

    Pte. J. C. Smith (52929), 17th Bn.

    CM for Desertion and Disobedience.

    Executed on 5/9/17.

    Pte. J. Tongue (11850), 1st Bn.

    CM for Desertion.

    Executed on 8/1/17.

Electro-shock Batons

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions his Department procured electro-shock batons between 1970 and 1986 for deployment in Northern Ireland. [68227]

Mr. Doug Henderson: No records have been found relating to the procurement of electro-shock batons by the MOD.

Departmental Legislation

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional legislation, not currently before Parliament, was assumed in the production of his Department's spending allocation for 1999-2000 to 2001-02 in the Comprehensive Spending Review. [68418]

Mr. Doug Henderson: There is a long-standing convention that legislative proposals for each year are not announced before the Queen's Speech at the start of the relevant Session.

Aircraft Flying Hours

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the average flying hours in (a) 1997 and (b) 1998 for Jaguar aircraft in service with the RAF. [69006]

Mr. Doug Henderson: In both 1997 and 1998, Jaguar aircraft have each flown an average of 20.5 hours per month.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the average flying hours in (a) 1997 and (b) 1998 for Tornado GR aircraft in service with the RAF. [69063]

Mr. Doug Henderson: Tornado GR aircraft each flew an average of 22 hours per month in 1997 and 21 hours in 1998.

4 Feb 1999 : Column: 732

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the total expenditure and the breakdown of expenditure in his Department since May 1997 on (a) public opinion research, (b) television, radio and newspaper advertising and (c) direct mail. [63925]

Mr. Doug Henderson: Between May 1997 and December 1998, my Department's expenditure on these items was as follows:

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