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Land Mines

31. Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on (a) the disposal of stocks of land mines and (b) the destruction of mines which have been laid. [75996]

Mr. George Robertson: The Government use every appropriate opportunity to press other Governments to ratify the Convention and fulfil all their international obligations under the Ottawa Convention. As I announced to the House on 22 February 1999, Official Report, column 7, we have now destroyed the last of the Army's operational stocks of APM, four years in advance of the requirement laid down under the Ottawa Convention. Destruction of all UK operational stocks of APM will be completed by 1 January 2000. This is another instance of the UK leading international efforts to achieve a world-wide ban on these weapons.

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On the vital issue of the destruction of mines already in the ground, the lead for humanitarian de-mining rests with the Department for International Development. But the MOD has established the Mine Information and Training Centre at Minley in Surrey to provide expert, professional advice. I have also recently approved the attachment of a senior British Army Colonel to the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian De-mining to support the international effort. My Department continues to keep under review all opportunities for further assistance where this would be appropriate and useful.

European Defence Co-operation

32. Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the Government's policy in relation to promoting further European defence co-operation. [75997]

Mr. George Robertson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Bradley) today, Official Report, column 13.

Imphal Barracks, York

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will assess the contribution made by Imphal Barracks, York to local employment levels. [73086]

Mr. Doug Henderson: There are 385 civilian staff employed within Imphal Barracks, of whom 143 are on the establishment of the headquarters 2nd Division. Imphal Barracks also makes an indirect contribution to local employment levels through employment by local contractors on property management within the barracks, which this financial year will cost some £1.1 million. For the future, the announced move of the Defence Vetting Agency when implemented will more than compensate for the loss of civilian posts caused by the closure of the divisional headquarters at Imphal Barracks.

Defence Secondary Care Agency

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the Defence Secondary Care Agency published its report for the year 1997-98; and what was the cost of production of the report. [76635]

Mr. Doug Henderson: This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Secondary Care Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from C. G. Callow to Mr. Mike Hancock, dated 22 March 1999:

    The Annual Report was published on 17 September 1998 at a cost of £7,398.

Departmental Budget

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was his Department's budget in cash terms and at 1998-99 prices for (a) 1992-93 to 1998-99 and (b) his estimate for 1999-2000 to 2001-02. [77334]

Mr. George Robertson: The information requested is as follows:

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£ million
YearCash1998-99 prices

The figures for 1992-93 through to 1997-98 reflect outturn adjusted to take account of major definitional changes in defence spending and of major transfers of responsibility to and from other Government Departments. The figures for 1996-97 and 1997-98 exclude the element of receipts arising from the sale of the married quarters estate in England and Wales that were appropriated onto Defence Votes. The figures for 1998-99 is the estimated outturn that underlay the Spring Supplementary Estimates. The totals shown for 1999-2000 to 2001-2002 are the Ministry of Defence's Departmental Expenditure Limits. These differ slightly from the figures published in the Comprehensive Spending Review (Cm 4011) and the Strategic Defence Review (Cm 3999) White Papers last July, and more recently in the Ministry of Defence's Public Service Agreement (which forms part of "Public Service for the Future: Modernisation, Reform and Accountability" (Cm 4181, December 1998)) because of adjustments arising from Public Expenditure Systems transfers to other Government departments.

Further details of the Ministry of Defence's expenditure plans will be published in "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1999-2000 to 2001-2002" (Cm 4208) on 26 March 1999.

Territorial Army

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recruitment to the Territorial Army. [75983]

Mr. Doug Henderson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) today, Official Report, column 9.

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to maintain the footprint of the Army in those areas of the country where there will be no regular or TA units. [74860]

Mr. Doug Henderson [holding answer 5 March 1999]: The future footprint of the Army is defined by the location of Regular and Territorial Army units and facilities and will remain widespread following the SDR and the reform of the TA.

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the reduction in civilian posts from his review of the TA. [74861]

Mr. Doug Henderson [holding answer 5 March 1999]: We expect that the reform of the Territorial Army will result in an overall loss of some 900 civilian posts spread throughout the United Kingdom. These numbers are, however, subject to Trade Union consultation.

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Ministerial Meetings (US)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times Ministers in his Department have met their counterparts in the US Government since 1 June 1998; and if he will list the

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dates and locations of each meeting, the Ministersinvolved on each occasion, and the name of the US counterpart at each meeting. [77148]

Mr. George Robertson: Since 1 June 1998, MOD Ministers have had bilateral meetings with our US counterparts on the following occasions:

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Secretary of StateWilliam Cohen3 June 1998Washington
Secretary of StateWilliam Cohen19 November 1998Washington
Secretary of State, Minister (Defence Procurement), and Under-Secretary of StateJohn Hamre19 January 1999London
Minister (Armed Forces)John Hamre1 March 1999Washington

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In addition, we have regular exchanges and contacts at other meetings and conferences.


Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list by country the number of non-UK citizens who have been recruited to each of the armed services in each of the past three years for which figures are available. [77485]

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

NATO Subventions

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on (a) the level of payments from NATO to cover the salaries of UK armed forces personnel on NATO missions, (b) the level of salaries and allowances paid to UK armed forces on NATO missions and (c) the reasons for differences between the amounts at (a) and (b). [77621]

Mr. Doug Henderson [holding answer 19 March 1999]: NATO does not make any payment to cover the salaries of UK (or any other nation's) armed forces personnel on NATO missions. Normal levels of salary, together with allowances appropriate to location and circumstances, are paid from Ministry of Defence funds to UK Armed Forces personnel while on NATO or other missions. It is accepted by NATO nations that the salary costs of troops deployed will lie where they fall, on the defence budgets of the contributing nations.

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