Previous Section Index Home Page

Drug Testing

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 31 October 2001, Official Report, column 662W, on drug testing, if he will make a statement about the actions that follow when a service man or woman tests positive to a compulsory drugs test. [13123]

Mr. Ingram: Each compulsory drug test case is treated on its own merits and the individual concerned may make a representation about the circumstances surrounding the positive result. If it is concluded that the individual misused drugs knowingly, he or she would normally be discharged unless there were exceptional grounds for retention.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of compulsory drugs tests in the armed forces were positive in 2000. [13124]

Mr. Ingram: The percentage of compulsory drugs tests in the armed forces that were positive in 2000 were:

Royal Navy0.36
Royal Air Force0.12

Ballistic Missiles

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer on ballistic missiles on 6 November 2001, Official Report, column 129W, if he will place a copy of his draft international code of conduct on ballistic missiles in the Library. [13698]

Mr. Hoon: Yes.

9 Nov 2001 : Column: 435W

Military Maritime Graves

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what conclusions have been drawn on the consultation process into the protection of wrecked military vessels, with special reference to military maritime graves. [14305]

Dr. Moonie: The consultation process on the protection of military vessels, in particular, military maritime graves, ended in August. Following that consultation process it was decided that a small number of wrecks within UK jurisdiction, which are representative of all those lost, will be designated as controlled sites. This means that any activity within a controlled area will require a licence. All other military vessels which meet the criteria as set out in the consultation document, including those in international waters, will be designated as protected places. Those who contributed to the consultation process have been informed of this. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library of the House.

September 11 (Financial Consequences)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will itemise the additional direct current financial year costs arising from decisions in response to the events of 11 September; and if they will be met from the existing defence budget. [13472]

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 October 2001, Official Report, column 114W, to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker).

Apache Helicopter

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what formations will be responsible for securing the logistical echelon for the Apache helicopter; and if he will make a statement regarding US studies of this matter in Kosovo. [9677]

Mr. Ingram: The Apache helicopter will be deployed as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, the UK Army's Air Manoeuvre Formation. Responsibility for protecting units in support of Apache operations will fall to the operational commander. The composition of 16 Air Assault Brigade includes Infantry and Air Defence units, both of which may be used for this purpose.

We always maintain close liaison between US and UK forces. Lessons learned from operations are studied and refinements, where necessary, are made to the way our armed forces operate. Specific lessons learned from US Apache operations in Kosovo are being considered and, where appropriate, used to refine the British Army's doctrine and operating procedures for the training and deployment of Air Manoeuvre units.

Service Personnel (Sex Discrimination)

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is applicable to service personnel serving on sovereign bases overseas. [12733]

Mr. Ingram: The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on sex grounds against an employee in relation to employment

9 Nov 2001 : Column: 436W

at an establishment in Great Britain. In this context sovereign bases do not form part of the territory of Great Britain.

Sections 6 and 10 of the Sex Discrimination Act provide that employment will be regarded as being at an establishment in Great Britain unless the employee does his work wholly outside Great Britain.


Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what security is offered to UK forces in the Balkans to protect them from possible asymmetric assault. [13280]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 8 November 2001]: Appropriate measures are in place to protect all deployed UK forces. These measures are kept under constant review in order to respond to emerging situations on the ground, but are not made public for reasons of operational security.

Air Traffic Control (West Freugh)

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military and (b) civil air traffic control movements have been handled by the air traffic control centre at MOD West Freugh, Wigtownshire, in each of the last five years. [13686]

Mr. Ingram: The total air traffic control movements are set out in the table:

Total movements

(2) To date

The split between military and civil movements over the last five years is not available as the information is not held in the form requested. It should be noted, however, that civilian flights make up only a small portion of the overall number of movements at the airfield each year.

No-fly Zones

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he has taken to provide for the enforcement of no-fly zones around nuclear power stations. [13834]

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures are being taken to enforce no-fly zones around nuclear installations. [13476]

Mr. Ingram: Security of nuclear installations is a matter for the Department of Trade and Industry. The Royal Air Force has an established and well-practised air defence capability which is ready to detect, deter or destroy aircraft intending to attack any target within the UK, including nuclear installations. Adjustments have been made to our air defence posture since 11 September, but, for obvious reasons, I do not propose to go into detail on the nature of these changes.

9 Nov 2001 : Column: 437W

Charm 3

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what stocks of the armour piercing Charm 3 round are held. [13763]

Mr. Ingram: Charm 3 is the armour piercing round fired by the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. Information relating to the stock levels of operational ammunition are withheld under exemption 1 of the code of practice on access to Government information.

Exercise Saif Sareea 2

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if local overseas allowances were made available to all personnel in Exercise Saif Sareea 2; [13837]

Mr. Ingram: Personnel deploying on Exercise Saif Sareea 2 were not entitled to Local Overseas Allowances (LOA) or to concessions in lieu of them. Although neither a concession nor a substitute for LOA, a comprehensive Operational Welfare package was made available to deployed personnel. This was in accordance with my predecessor's announcement on 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 12, which covered the welfare arrangements for exercises lasting for two months or more. The package included shower and laundry facilities, 20 minutes of free telephone calls a week, access to free electronic aerograms and free e-mail, television, videos, DVDs, newspapers, books, sports equipment and a Combined Service Entertainment show.


Cold Weather Payments

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans the Government have to review the eligibility criteria for pensioners' cold weather payments. [13840]

Malcolm Wicks: Cold weather payments provide extra help towards heating costs for the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society in periods of exceptionally cold weather. Pensioners on low incomes are not the only people to benefit from the payments. They are also paid to people receiving income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance who have children under the age of five or who have a premium for disability or long-term sickness. We have no plans to change the eligibility conditions.

Next Section Index Home Page