|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Moonie: All Ministry of Defence owned ranges operate under the regulatory system laid down in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 403. Each range will have a Supervising Authority that licenses the activities on the range and carries out regular inspections to ensure compliance with the current regulations.
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1167W
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence's Chief Inspector of Explosives is to conduct an internal Board of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the loss of a pallet of munitions prepared for destruction at St. Thomas Head, Weston-super-Mare.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the use of the London Underground to carry out experiments on the release of substances originating from Porton Down; and if he will categorise those carried out. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 March 2002]: In 1963 and 1964 the former Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down carried out two defence trials in the London Underground to assess the risk from biological warfare.
These defensive sabotage trials were carried out with the knowledge of the relevant Ministers of the day, the London Underground and the oversight of the Biological Research Advisory Board. The reports of the trials have been in the Public Record Office for several years and have been widely reported in the media.
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The Biology Department was formed at Porton Down in 1940 and since then there has been a continuous interest in the spread of micro-organisms, of which bacterial spores are the most hardy.
Throughout the last 60 years there have been numerous experiments to assess the spread and transmission of bacterial spores. Many of these have been undertaken in the laboratory, some on the Porton Range, at sea and in other open areas.
There is no definitive list of experiments and trials undertaken by the Ministry of Defence, Porton Down over the years to evaluate the spread of bacterial spores. The research undertaken at Porton Down to improve the UK's understanding of this issue is collated in the following report 'BW and BW Defence Field Trials Conducted by the UK: 19401979' by GB Carter. I will place a copy in the Library of the House.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Government plans to release papers, previously due for release in 1995, held by the Public Records Office concerning experiments into Bacillus globigii spores; and if he will make a statement. 
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1168W
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 March 2002]: Since the formation of the Biology Department at Porton Down in 1940 there have been numerous experiments to assess the spread and transmission of bacterial spores, many of which have involved the use of Bacillus globigii.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the US Administration concerning the transfer of parts of DERA to the private sector; what concerns they raised; and how they will be resolved. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 March 2002]: As part of the DERA PPP consultation process, we had extensive contacts with and received representations from a wide range of organisations including the US and other Allies. I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to the hon. Members for Truro and St. Austell (Mr. Taylor) on 6 March 2000, Official Report, column 484W, for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 18 May 2000, Official Report, column 205W) and for Aldershot (Mr. Howarth) on 22 June 2000, Official Report, column 241W, detailing these representations.
On the completion of the Consultation exercise, the US indicated that they welcomed the changes made in response to their representations and those of other interested parties. Mr. Rudy de Leon, US Deputy Secretary for Defense, said
During the separation process, we continued to work closely with all our international partners to ensure that they had confidence that the Ministry of Defence would be able to meet all of its obligations under international collaborative agreements. The arrangements put in place at the vesting of QinetiQ as a Plc on 1 July 2001 to ensure that international collaboration continued, are operating successfully.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of upgrading GR7 aircraft with new engines, electronics and weapons; whether the upgrade of GR7 includes marinisation of the aircraft; what the cost of marinisation programme will be; how many GR7 aircraft will marinised; and when the marinised Harriers will be in service. 
Mr. Ingram: The Harrier GR7 fleet will undergo two upgrade programmes over the next few years. First, 30 aircraft will be upgraded to GR7a standard by the integration of the Pegasus Mk107 engine. This will provide improved performance, particularly for carrier borne operation. This programme is due to be completed by the end of 2005 at a total cost of approximately £150 million.
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1169W
Secondly, all Harrier GR7 and GR7a aircraft will receive avionics and weapons upgrades to provide the aircraft with a much improved capability, in particular the ability to deliver the new generation of smart weapons that are about to enter service. These aircraft will be designated Harrier GR9 and GR9a. Although the detailed content of the GR9 programme and the associated procurement strategy have yet to be finalised, it is estimated that the total cost will be approximately £330 million, of which 75% relates to routine maintenance and modification work being undertaken concurrently with the upgrade to minimise costs.
RAF Harrier GR7 aircraft have already successfully taken part in carrier operations. Studies to determine what further marinisation modifications will be necessary are being undertaken in addition to the Harrier GR9 upgrade programme.
(3) what powers he has to compel the continuation of explosive manufacturing in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff were seconded between (a) PWC Consulting and PricewaterhouseCooper, (b) Ernst & Young, (c) Deloitte & Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen and his Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost was of media advertising in each of the past five parliamentary Sessions including the current Session, for his Department in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland; and for the last two parliamentary Sessions and the current parliamentary Session, what the media advertising expenditure was per month in (i) England, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland. 
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1170W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|