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Dr. Moonie [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I announced on 21 November 2000, Official Report, columns 101-02W, a number of measures aimed at assisting Service personnel gain information about the trials they were involved in at Porton Down. Since my announcement, the Porton Down Volunteer helpline, which was established in January 1998, has received 120 calls. Volunteers who approach the helpline will obtain full information, by letter, on their own trials, and be offered the opportunity to examine the records for themselves at the site. I also offered volunteers the opportunity of receiving a thorough medical assessment, along the lines of the well established Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) at St. Thomas' Hospital, London. As at 4 January, the MAP programme has received 20 inquiries, of which 14 volunteers have been referred to the MAP for assessment.
We have also received 24 other inquiries, in the form of Parliamentary Inquiries and letters from members of the public, on matters relating to the trials at Porton Down. Porton Down have also received written correspondence from members of the public, doctors and the War Pensions Agency.
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[holding answer 8 January 2001]: Comprehensive records at Porton Down show that since 1990 the following drugs (chemicals) have been administered to personnel taking part in the Service Volunteer Programme at CBD Porton:
Most of the studies involved an assessment of the military acceptability of prospective or in-service medical countermeasures that would save lives if biological, chemical or nuclear weapons were used against the UK or its armed forces.
Work is proceeding to research records prior to 1990 but this is time consuming and the records become less comprehensive with age. However records do show that the following drugs (chemicals) were used, although this list is not exhaustive:
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the projects undertaken for his Department by (a) outside consultants, (b) academic researchers and (c) university departments since 1 May 1997, giving the total expenditure incurred in each category. 
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Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are being made to ensure that service personnel are given an appropriate measure of priority for medical treatment; and at what expense. 
Dr. Moonie: Existing arrangements for the treatment of Service personnel, which include provision for rapid access to hospital out-patient appointments in high priority cases, have recently been supplemented by contracts with private sector providers in order to help return personnel quickly to fully deployable status and so relieve overstretch. I am withholding details of the costs of these various contractual arrangements in accordance with Section 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons British prisoners of war held during the Second World War who were not paid during their period of capture have not been subsequently compensated; what plans he has to make payments to the surviving former POWs; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: During the Second World War, British Service personnel who were held as prisoners of war or protected personnel continued to receive their Service pay during their captivity; this was credited to their home pay account. On repatriation, arrangements were made for adjustments to be made to an individual's pay account to resolve any outstanding pay issues in relation to their time in enemy hands. From time to time the Ministry of Defence continues to receive representations from former British Service personnel about matters relating to their pay while in captivity.
Janet Anderson: To date, 2.76 million free television licences have been issued by TV Licensing. A further 236,000 applications from people giving their age as 75 or over are currently being verified. Up to 500,000 beneficiaries of the £5 Accommodation for Residential Care concessionary licence are estimated to be 75 or over and will receive free television licences as their current licence comes up for renewal.
Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners in Wansbeck will benefit from the introduction of the free television licence for persons aged 75 years and over. 
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Janet Anderson: TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates of the over-75 population based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 5,700 people aged 75 or over in the Wansbeck constituency.
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners aged 75 years and over in the Vale of Clwyd qualify for a free television licence; and how many of those qualifying had received the licence on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Janet Anderson [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Everyone aged 75 or over is entitled to benefit from a free television licence, but licences cover households rather than individuals so households with more than one member over 75 need only a single free licence. TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates of the over-75 population based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 7,100 people aged 75 or over in the Vale of Clwyd constituency.
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will publish the final version of the guidelines he uses in assessing BBC public service proposals; and if he will make a statement. 
The guidelines explain how the BBC must meet its obligations under the Charter and Agreement. They make clear that the BBC cannot make material changes to the nature of existing services without properly consulting licence payers and that they cannot establish new national services, or go outside the terms of services which I have approved, without my consent. The BBC cannot make fundamental changes to the nature of existing channels, such as the proposals to change BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge into BBC3 and BBC4, without consulting the public.
Individual scheduling decisions are of course a matter for the Governors, but the Guidelines make clear that the BBC must ensure that its services, including BBC1 and BBC2, continue to meet the standards of content and quality set out in the Charter and Agreement. As I recently made clear over the move of the BBC Nine O'Clock News, I shall be looking to ensure that the Governors perform those duties rigorously. And no changes to those standards of content and quality can be made without the consent of Parliament.
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