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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 31 January 2001


Barrack Accommodation (Scotland)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to (a) alter and (b) expand barrack accommodation in Scotland; and at which locations. [146175]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 22 January 2001]: The major barracks in Scotland are:

Apart from routine property maintenance, the only plans for significant alterations to, or expansion of, accommodation at these sites involve:

Animal Experiments

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if a cost-benefit analysis under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 was conducted for the recent chemically evoked seizure experiments conducted on guinea pigs; and if he will make a statement; [147181]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 January 2001]: Under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 all proposals for licences to undertake work involving animals have a requirement to have determined the cost-benefit analysis of the research.

This type of analysis is undertaken as part of the formal ethical review procedure required by the Home Office. It assesses all proposals in detail, prior to submission to the Home Office, to determine whether the benefits likely to result from the project outweigh the cost in suffering to

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the animals to be used. This assessment includes the appropriateness of the animal use and the measures to be taken to minimise suffering. It thus demonstrates that as much as possible has been done to replace the procedures with alternatives not using living animals, to reduce numbers of animals used in particular studies; and, to refine the procedures to minimise pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm, a process known in animal welfare circles as the 3Rs.

The chemically evoked seizure research involving guinea-pigs was conducted under a project licence that had been through this rigorous review process. The research was required to provide UK Service Personnel with the best possible medical countermeasures against nerve agent poisoning. To do this it is essential to understand the actions of nerve agents and test possible therapeutic drugs. This research has provided a better understanding of nerve agent-induced seizures, and suggested approaches to their prevention or reversal by the use of anticonvulsant drugs. In addition, the methods developed during this research led to a significant advance, in that many parameters were able to be assessed within the same animal, reducing the number of animals required.

Type 45 Destroyers

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1), pursuant to his answer of 21 December 2000, Official Report, column 249W, on Type 45 destroyers, if the DFM contract resolves conflicts between (a) the prime contractor's incentives to deliver the first batch at a price below the maximum price, (b) the additional cost of employing two yards to design and assemble the first three ships and (c) an unsolicited proposal from BAE Systems Marine for sole sourcing of the assembly of the Type 45 ships; and if he will make a statement; [147531]

Mr. Hoon: This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Sir Robert Walmsley to Mr. Mike Hancock, dated 31 January 2001:

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Haslar Hospital

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many consultants have resigned from service at Haslar Hospital in each of the last three years. [146708]

Dr. Moonie: The numbers of consultants who left the armed forces on premature voluntary retirement in each of the last three years while serving at the Royal Hospital Haslar are as shown. The period between the acceptance of an application to leave and the date of leaving may be up to 18 months.


Army Personnel (Scotland)

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about trends in the number of regular soldiers stationed in Scotland since 1995. [145899]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 16 January 2001]: The Ministry of Defence produces figures showing the numbers of Regular Army personnel based in Scotland as at 1 July each year. The latest available official figures are shown in the table.

Number of UK Regular(1) Army personnel in Scotland: 1 July 1995 to 2000

DateOfficersSoldiersAll ranks
1 July 19952432,3442,587
1 July 19962923,1613,453
1 July 19973512,6022,953
1 July 19983883,3673,755
1 July 19993733,4413,814
1 July 2000(2)(2)422(2)3,739(2)4,161

(1) Figures exclude Gurkhas, Full-time Reserve Service Personnel, Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists

(2) 1 July 2000 figures for Scotland are provisional

JSF Aircraft

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what protections he has negotiated with the US Department of Defense for the eventuality that the new US Administration cancel the JSF project. [147567]

Mr. Hoon: Any decision by either JSF partner to withdraw from the programme is covered by the standard conditions in the JSF MOU. A copy of this document is available in the House of Commons Library.

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much will be paid, and over what period, to the US Department of Defence as the British contribution to the EMD phase of the Joint Strike Fighter project. [147565]

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Mr. Hoon: The UK contribution to the US for the EMD phase of the JSF programme amounts to some £1.3 billion. This will be paid over the 12 year period October 2001 to March 2013. A further £600 million will be spent, some in the US, on UK specific requirements outside of the EMD activity.

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what implications the privatisation of New DERA will have for the UK participation in the JSF project; and if he will make a statement. [147569]

Mr. Hoon: None. The arrangements for UK participation in the JSF programme take into account the creation of New DERA.

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