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Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to review the number of Typhoons which will be (a) purchased and (b) brought into service by the UK; and what the in-service date for the Typhoon in the United Kingdom is. [151792]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 1 March 2001]: Typhoon is the name given by industry to the export version of Eurofighter; it is not the name for RAF aircraft.

The UK currently intends to acquire 232 Eurofighter aircraft, and we plan to bring all of these aircraft into service, except for two Instrumented Production Aircraft and one to be used for the Major Aircraft Fatigue Test.

Production contracts for the first 55 RAF aircraft were signed in September 1998. Contracts for the remaining aircraft are planned for 2003 and 2007. The in-service date of Eurofighter, which is defined as delivery of the first aircraft, is June 2002.


Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date and for what reason the former serviceman described as Geoff in the BBC television documentary "Brits" was discharged from the Army. [152088]

Dr. Moonie: It is not normal practice to disclose such details of any individual's military service. Such information is confidential between employer and employee and is withheld under Exemptions 8a and 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Porton Down

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many new staff have been taken on in the Gulf Veterans Illnesses Unit to deal with issues relating to Porton Down volunteers since 21 November 2000; and in what grades each of these new staff were. [152083]

Dr. Moonie: Since 21 November 2000, the following members of staff have joined the Gulf Veterans Illnesses Unit (GVIU), specifically to deal with issues relating to the Porton Down Volunteer Programme:

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 21 November 2000, Official Report, columns 101-02W, on what dates officials from his Department and the Chemical Defence

5 Mar 2001 : Column: 20W

Establishment, Porton Down, held meetings with the Medical Research Council regarding advice on an independent epidemiological study for Porton Down volunteers. [152080]

Dr. Moonie: My staff met representatives from the Medical Research Council (MRC) at Porton Down on 5 March 2001.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 December 2000, Official Report, column 223W, regarding nerve agent studies, if the research to establish the definitive numbers of Porton Down volunteers who have taken part in nerve agent studies will include an assessment of the safety and ethical procedures which were in force at Porton Down during these studies. [152054]

Dr. Moonie: Yes.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 25 January 2001, Official Report, column 659W, regarding Oripavine, if he will place in the Library a list of the technical papers which discuss the different aspects of Porton's research on TL2636, specifying the title, number and date of each paper. [152050]

Dr. Moonie: The Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of DERA at Porton Down has identified several internal technical reports which relate to research involving Oripavine TL2636. These are as follows:

The following three reports have some reference to Oripavine TL2636:

The majority of these reports are over 30 years old and are part of the Porton Down archive holding of records which have been progressively transferred to the main MOD repository at Hayes. Since 1998, the majority of the above technical reports and other material have been forwarded to MOD archives for review, in accordance with normal procedures, and eventual transfer to the Public Records Office.

5 Mar 2001 : Column: 21W

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, have made of the report produced by the US Institute of Medicine in 1993 entitled, "Veterans at Risk-the health effects of mustard gas and lewisite"; and on what dates these assessments were made. [152082]

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

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the ways in which his Department and the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, have co-operated and provided assistance to the Wiltshire Police during their inquiry into human trials at Porton Down. [152081]

Dr. Moonie: From the start of the investigation by Wiltshire Police, staff at Porton Down have been as helpful as possible in providing them with the material they require. Officers were issued passes to allow them easy access to the Porton Down site and, prior to moving the records to the Police Headquarters, the Police had use of an office containing the archived volunteer files to carry out their work. The Police have also had access to archive material held in the Ministry of Defence's archives, and research advice and assistance from the MOD historical branches.

MOD staff continue to be in regular contact with their opposite numbers in the Wiltshire Constabulary and meet with them whenever necessary to discuss points of concern.

US-UK Strategic Defence Initiative (Memorandum of Understanding)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the 1985 US-UK Strategic Defence Initiative Memorandum of Understanding. [152052]

Mr. Hoon: I am withholding this information under exemption 1b of the Code of Practice, relating to international relations.

Stakeholder Pensions

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements his Department has made to offer stakeholder pensions to members of the reserve forces. [152055]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence is in the process of going out to tender for a designated stakeholder pension scheme. It is intended to offer eligible members of the reserve forces the opportunity to make contributions to the designated stakeholder pension scheme via deductions from their pay.

Policy and Strategy Units

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his policy planners department was established; which of its reports are placed in the public domain; how many departmental or non-departmental special advisers

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participate in its work; how many regular (a) non- departmental and (b) departmental staff participate in its work; and how many of these work for the department on a full-time basis. [150373]

Dr. Moonie: The Directorate of Defence Policy in the Ministry of Defence was renamed the Directorate of Policy Planning in autumn 1999, although the role it undertakes remains similar. It supports the strategic planning process which arose from the Strategic Defence Review, and undertakes policy development work on a range of issues. It also carries out work in support of the Defence Diplomacy initiative and the Government's conflict prevention agenda.

The Directorate does not generally publish reports in the public domain in its own right, but it had a major input, for example, into three recent Ministry of Defence publications (Defence Policy 2001, The Future Strategic Context for Defence and Policy Paper 1: Defence Diplomacy).

The Directorate currently comprises 22 full-time Ministry of Defence employed personnel, both civilian and military, and one French military exchange officer. It does not contain any special advisers.

In undertaking its work, the Directorate works with a wide range of bodies in the Ministry of Defence, other Government Departments, the academic community and other interested parties. Special advisers do not routinely participate in its work, although they may be involved in discussion of work undertaken by the Directorate, in the normal way.

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