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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne) of 30 October 2001, Official Report, column 659W, for what reason the docking period for HMS Ocean planned for early 2002 has been brought forward; if its four month duration can be shortened; and which Lloyd's Survey Standards it is designed to achieve; 
(3 whether repairs other than routine maintenance are required on HMS Ocean. 
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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 8 November 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh) on 2 November 2001, Official Report, column 877W, and the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 9 November 2001, Official Report, column 433W.
While it would have been possible to reduce the duration of the now deferred docking period, the optimum solution in the current operational circumstances is to carry out the shorter assisted maintenance period at Ocean's home port of Portsmouth, rather than dock the vessel. This will also maximise the time ships staff can spend with their families before rejoining the vessel if she is required for operational deployment.
A number of surveys to meet Lloyd's standard are undertaken over a period of time to assess the vessel's condition. Many of these surveys can be completed while the vessel is afloat but those which can be undertaken only in dock will be deferred until the docking period. This will not affect the ability of the vessel to operate safely.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the projects in his Department which have been considered as potential public private partnerships since 1997 which have not been undertaken because the public sector comparator had a lower net present value than the public private partnership proposed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chief Secretary on 13 November 2001, Official Report, column 607W. Rigorous appraisal processes are applied to public-private partnerships to ensure that they are workable and appropriate, as well as economic. This usually means that we can confirm the viability or otherwise of a project at an early stage. There have been no cases in the last four years within defence where it has been decided not to proceed with a project because of financial comparisons with the public sector comparator.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of RAF St. Athan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 20 July 2001, Official Report, column 706W. The position remains that we are continuing to work closely with all stakeholders to develop a solution for the St. Athan site. An announcement will be made once this work is complete.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence of those recruited to the armed forces, how many have successfully completed initial training at depots in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Ingram: The information is not held in the format or period requested. Details that are available are set out in the table.
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|Year||Intake||Gains to trained strength|
For all of the services there is limited correlation between intake and gains to the trained strength because the date of entry and date of completing training will often fall in different financial years.The figures reflect not just the completion of basic training but also the initial specialist training required to allow each person to join the trained strength of his/her service.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Defence Aviation Repair Agency requested the assistance of the Welsh Development Agency to facilitate the relocation of the fixed wing aircraft repair business from RAF St. Athan to Cardiff International Airport. 
Mr. Ingram: Informal discussions initially took place between the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) and the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) during October and November 2000. DARA gave a formal presentation to the WDA on 12 December 2000 detailing the business development needs at DARA's sites in Wales (St. Athan and Sealand).
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the cost of retaining four sites within the Defence Aviation Repair Agency. 
Mr. Ingram: No formal assessment of the cost of retaining four sites within the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) has been carried out. I refer my hon. Friend to the letter by the then Minister of State for the armed forces, Mr. Spellar, dated 31 January 2001, which gives a breakdown of the actual cost for running the four sites in financial year 19992000, copies of which were placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2001, Official Report, column 874, on Afghanistan, what his estimate is
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of how many civilians have been killed as a result of Coalition action; and how many actions have caused unintended (a) injury and (b) damage. 
Mr. Ingram: We cannot estimate the number of civilian casualties or the number of actions that have caused unintended injury or damage because we have no means of independently verifying the allegations made in Afghanistan.
As has regularly been made clear in the House, our targeting processes are rigorous and every effort is made to avoid civilian casualties and damage to non-military equipment and buildings.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the deployment of British forces in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Hoon: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to the House on 14 November 2001, Official Report, columns 86179.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2001, Official Report, column 874W, on Afghanistan, how many claims of damage to civilian life and property have been carefully investigated; which agencies are responsible for investigating such claims; and if he will place (a) copies of those claims and (b) the results of the investigations made by the Coalition in the Library. 
Mr. Ingram: I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2001, Official Report, column 874W, on Afghanistan, how many battle damage assessment reports he has received; and how many attacks on a target were over 50 per cent. successful. 
Mr. Ingram: I receive regular Battle Damage Assessment reports and am kept updated on significant developments. The success of missions is not measured in terms of a percentage but against the achievement of military objectives. Our objectives of destroying terrorist camps and creating the right conditions for future action in Afghanistan, including possible humanitarian or stabilisation operations, have been met. As recent events show, we are also making progress on our objective of limiting the Taliban's ability to protect and support Osama bin Laden and the al-Quaeda organisation.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value of his Department's assets holdings is, broken down by asset holder, under the headings of (a) Land & Buildings Scotland, (b) Land & Buildings UK, (c) Land & Buildings Overseas, (d) Fighting Equipment, (e) Nuclear Submarine Fleet, (f) Nuclear Missile Capacity, (g) Heritage Assets, (h) Plant & Machinery, (i) Vehicles and (j) Investments, in the last financial year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ingram: Information on asset values for the 19992000 financial year is contained in the Ministry of Defence section (Section 7) of the National Asset Register
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published by the Treasury in July 2001. The register lists asset holdings by Top Level Budget Holder and Agency Chief Executive in the asset categories agreed by the Treasury. A copy of the register is available in the Library of the House. Providing the information in the format requested could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Information on our asset holdings for 200001 will be published in the Departmental Resource Accounts in December. These will provide a breakdown by Treasury category at MOD departmental level.
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