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European Forces

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the official language of the European forces as defined in EU Council document SN 300/99 will be; [136298]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The European forces referred to in EU Council document SN 300/99 are the pool of capability needed to achieve the Headline Goal. The Headline Goal states that, by 2003, EU nations should be able to assemble, deploy rapidly and sustain up to 60,000 troops capable of undertaking the full range of crisis management tasks.

In the event of an EU-led or NATO-led operation being launched, each nation would decide when and how to commit their forces and each nation would be under their own national command and national flag.

National forces deployed on an EU-led operation in support of this goal will speak their own language. The issue of working language between national forces or in

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Multinational Headquarters has not yet been addressed in the EU context. However, in NATO the working language for these purposes is English.

Iraq (Southern No-fly Zone)

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions (a) coalition aircraft and (b) UK aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone in Iraq have released ordnance in response to violations from (i) 20 December 1998 to 17 May 2000 and (ii) 17 May to date indicating in percentage terms over said periods (1) the nature of the threat, (2) the category of the target attacked and (3) the tonnage of ordnance released on each category of target in proportion to the overall tonnage released in said periods; and if he will make a statement. [136593]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 7 November 2000]: For the period 20 December 1998 to 17 May 2000 I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 6 June 2000, Official Report, column 170W.

Saddam Hussein continues to try to kill coalition aircrew conducting legitimate humanitarian patrols. Coalition patrols respond to these attacks only in self-defence. If Saddam stopped trying to kill our aircrew we would not have to react in this way.

Between 18 May and 31 October 2000 coalition aircraft were directly threatened by the Iraqi air defence forces in the southern no-fly zone on 55 occasions, and responded in self-defence on 16 occasions against Iraqi military facilities posing a direct threat to coalition forces. UK aircraft released ordnance on eight occasions. Details of the threats broken down by percentage, are as follows:

Percentage
(i) Nature of threat by percentage
Aircraft Violations of southern no-fly zone4
Anti-Aircraft Artillery/Surface to Air Missile Firings91
Hostile Electronic Activity5
(ii) Category of Target attacked by percentage
Integrated Air Defence System100
(iii) Tonnage of Weapons Released by percentage
Integrated Ground Based Air Defence System100

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tonnage of ordnance has been released by (a) coalition and (b) UK aircraft in operations to maintain the southern no-fly zone in Iraq from 17 May to date; and if he will make a statement. [136594]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 7 November 2000]: Between 18 May and 31 October 2000 coalition aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone released some 60 tonnes of ordnance. The UK element of this figure was some 11 per cent. These weapons were released in self-defence in response to Iraqi threats to coalition aircraft.

Flooding (Armed Forces)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the armed forces have played in dealing with the recent floods in the UK. [137314]

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Mr. Spellar: The armed forces are always ready to respond to requests from the emergency services to provide help and support in the event of national disaster. Over the past week they have responded to numerous requests to help with flood relief. At the peak about 600 service personnel were providing assistance in numerous locations, performing tasks such as the reinforcement of flood defences and the evacuation of residents. Chinook helicopters have been used to move sandbags to inaccessible areas and Sea King helicopters have conducted rescue missions for people trapped by floodwaters.

The armed forces are continuing to provide assistance in several areas, and they remain ready to respond to further calls from the emergency services, wherever the need may arise.

RAF Innsworth

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to reduce the number of MOD police at RAF Innsworth; and if he will make a statement. [136987]

Dr. Moonie: The complement of Ministry of Defence Police at RAF Innsworth reduces from six to two on 1 April 2001. A review of the possible need to strengthen MDP resources in the wider area is currently nearing completion.

War Graves

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to review the income provided to gardeners employed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. [136980]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (Mr. Gibb) on 31 October 2000, Official Report, columns 341-42W.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Mr. Roger Sylvester

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Solicitor-General when a decision will be made on the bringing of charges against officers from Tottenham police station in connection with the death of Mr. Roger Sylvester; and if he will make a statement. [136975]

The Solicitor-General: The investigation report of the Essex police has been considered carefully by the Crown Prosecution Service, in accordance with the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Further medical evidence has recently been obtained and is urgently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. It is expected that the Crown Prosecutor reviewing the case will be in a position to complete the review by the end of this month. I will write to my hon. Friend when a decision has been made.

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PRIME MINISTER

Performance and Innovation Unit

Angela Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what additional projects are planned for the Performance and Innovation Unit; and if he will make a statement. [137757]

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the remit given to the Performance and Innovation Unit to make a study of the future of renewable energy; what resources are to be committed to the study; and by when he has asked the PIU to report. [135431]

The Prime Minister: I have asked the Performance and Innovation Unit to undertake the following further projects:


(i) how to achieve better availability of drugs to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries, and help achieve the targets for these diseases agreed at the G8 Okinawa summit. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the hon. Member for Neath (Mr. Hain), and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will be the Sponsor Ministers for this project, which will report by summer 2001.
(ii) to carry out an analysis of the extent, nature and main causes of under-investment in work force development, and to bring forward proposals for solutions. The Minister for Transport will be the Sponsor Minister for this project, which will report by autumn 2001.
(iii) to examine the contribution that renewable energy technologies could make to economic growth and environmental protection within the context of using natural resources more efficiently to support sustainable development. The Minister for Health will be the Sponsor Minister for this project, which will report by autumn 2001.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Hawk Aircraft (Indonesia)

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what licences to permit the sale of spare parts for Hawk fighters in Indonesia have been granted in the past 12 months; and what reports he has received concerning the Hawks used in civil conflicts in (a) East Timor and (b) other parts of Indonesia. [136655]

Dr. Howells: Between 1 November 1999 and 31 October 2000, four Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) and one Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) were issued covering the export to consignees or end-users in Indonesia of spares for Hawk aircraft. These figures have been obtained by searching the ECO's computer databases using the entries relating to military aircraft spares.

As regards the receipt of any reports concerning the use of Hawks, I have been informed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that they understand Hawks are regularly deployed to various parts of Indonesia for routine training.

I also understand that the FCO are not aware of any evidence that Hawks have ever been used for counter- insurgency in East Timor or in Indonesia.


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