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Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the decision of the Greek Government to postpone the acquisition of 60 Eurofighter Typhoon strike aircraft; [158902]

Mr. Hoon: The Greek Government's decision to delay the procurement of the aircraft will have no impact on the core Eurofighter programme. The contract is now expected around 2004. It remains an important export order for this excellent aircraft and many UK companies will benefit from the sale.

Defence Assets

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 23 April 2001, Official Report, columns 91-92W, on defence assets, what proportion of total assets (a) are available under the Headline Goal at Helsinki, (b) are available under the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom and United Nations and (c) are dedicated to other bodies and standing tasks; if he will list those areas where multiple commitments cannot be maintained; and if he will make a statement. [160844]

Mr. Hoon: The potential UK contributions to the UN or to the Headline Goal were identified in my answer to question 159370.

The UK has always made it clear that British forces would be potentially available for operations of all kinds across the crisis spectrum whether under NATO, European Union, UN, OSCE coalition or national auspices. A decision on any particular deployment will be dependent on circumstances at the time, including existing commitments and standing tasks.

Working Time Directive

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of senior civil servants in his Department have signed waivers to work voluntarily more than 48 hours a week; and if he will make a statement. [160890]

Dr. Moonie: In the Ministry of Defence, seven members of the senior civil service, about 2.5 per cent. of the total, have currently signed waivers to disapply the 48-hour limit on average weekly working time. It is Ministry of Defence policy to discourage long hours of working.

11 May 2001 : Column: 415W

Army Personnel (Removal Costs)

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost of moving Army personnel within the United Kingdom in each year from 1994 to 1998; and how many such removals took place in each year. [160975]

Dr. Moonie: The cost of moving Army personnel within the UK and the number of removals for each of the financial years were as follows:

YearsTotal cost (£)Number of removals

The costs identified above relate to charges for a removal contractor to pack household/personal effects, transport them to the next place of residence, deliver and unpack them. The information for 1994-95 is no longer available.

HMS Gannet

Ms Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when anti-submarine warfare operations will cease on a permanent basis from HMS Gannet. [161020]

Mr. Spellar: With effect from April 2002, HMS Gannet will cease to operate as a permanent base for anti-submarine warfare. From this date, it will be used as a forward operating base, activated as and when required, as well as a permanent base for search and rescue operations.

Ms Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of capital expenditure spent on HMS Gannet in the previous 12 months. [161019]

Mr. Spellar: Capital expenditure at HMS Gannet in the last financial year 2000-01 was approximately £50,000. This was in respect of vehicles and minor plant acquisitions essential to the future role of HMS Gannet as a forward operating base.

Porton Down

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2001, Official Report, column 551W, regarding Porton Down, if his Department's officials conducting the comprehensive survey will speak to (a) scientists and staff at Porton Down who conducted the experiments and (b) former service personnel who took part in the experiments; and if he will make a statement. [161041]

Dr. Moonie: The historical survey of the Porton Down Volunteer programme will gather information, initially from documentary sources. A decision on whether to contact former Porton Down staff or volunteers will be made at a later date.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2001, Official Report, column 551W, regarding Porton Down, if he will place in the Library a description of each piece

11 May 2001 : Column: 416W

of research which has been carried out in response to inquiries from (a) former volunteers, (b) parliamentarians and (c) the Wiltshire police. [161040]

Dr. Moonie: No. I refer the hon. Member to my answer to his previous question of 9 April 2001, Official Report, column 364W, which explained the procedure for allowing former Porton Down volunteers access to information about the trials that they took part in at Porton Down. Each inquiry from an individual volunteer is a research task in itself and the information is personal to the volunteer and Porton Down.

Inquiries from parliamentarians are in two forms: either parliamentary questions to which responses are already in the public domain, or parliamentary inquiries on behalf of an individual. In the case of the latter the information is personal to the volunteer and is given to the parliamentarian in confidence.

Inquiries from the Wiltshire police are subject to ongoing investigation and it would not be appropriate to comment on these at this time.

Plan Colombia (British Training)

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the British (a) military and (b) other personnel training of the Colombian Government forces, indicating in each case the cost and whether it forms part of Plan Colombia. [160643]

Mr. Spellar: We maintain contacts with the Colombian armed forces and some police units on a range of issues. These contacts occasionally include the provision of training, including counter drugs training, and cost in the region of £70,000 in financial year 2000-01. I am withholding further details under exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which covers information whose disclosure would be harmful to national security, defence or international relations.

The United Kingdom has not provided financial or other support to Plan Colombia. Instead the UK is contributing to, and fully supports, assistance to Colombia through the European Union of 105 million euros over the next five years. The EU package will focus on measures to support human rights, long term economic and social development and an end to violence.


Nadhmi Auchi

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department made representations to (i) the French Government and (ii) other authorities regarding the arrest warrant for British citizen Nadhmi Auchi; on what dates the representations were made; if a Minister from his Department has met him; and if he will make a statement. [160259]

Mr. Vaz: I have been asked to reply.

No representations have been made to either the French Government or other authorities. Details of inquiries made by Mr. Auchi have been passed to the Home Office. On ministerial meetings, I refer to my reply of 23 April.

11 May 2001 : Column: 417W

Crowd Control Technologies

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W, what the findings of the DSAC in its October 1999 report were on the injury potential of the L21A1 plastic baton round at the 1 metre minimum range of engagement. [158042]

Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply.

Due to a change in specification of the L21A1 baton round system, the October 1999 report was not fully relevant and was therefore not issued.

Criminals (Profit)

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures the Government will take to ensure that criminals do not profit financially from past crimes. [160853]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Under the Proceeds of Crime Bill, for which the Government published draft clauses on 5 March (Cm 5066), a court in England or Wales which is considering whether to make a confiscation order against a convicted defendant who has a criminal lifestyle will be required to assume that any property held by the defendant at any time after conviction, and any property transferred to the defendant during the six years preceding the commencement of the criminal proceedings, was obtained by him as a result of criminal conduct; and that any expenditure incurred by him during the six year period was met from property obtained as a result of such conduct. The court will however be prohibited from making the assumption if it is shown to be incorrect or if making it would give rise to a serious risk of injustice.

A defendant will be considered to have a criminal lifestyle if convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering or any other of a list of offences to be specified in regulations; or if the offence constitutes conduct forming part of a course of criminal activity (this term is defined in draft clause 69); or if the offence was committed over a period of six months or more.

These provisions represent an extension of the circumstances in which such assumptions may be made under existing legislation.

The Bill will also empower the Director of the proposed new Criminal Assets Recovery Agency, which the Bill will create, to seek civil recovery in the High Court of property which has been obtained through unlawful conduct (Part V of the draft Bill). Civil recovery will apply to property obtained through conduct committed before the Bill comes into force. The Government are not minded to insert a limit on the period after the conduct during which property will be recoverable, but are considering this point carefully.

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