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Army Manpower

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Army training regiments will accept their last infantry recruits. [53050]

Mr. Ingram: All adult Standard Entry Infantry recruits will henceforth receive both initial and specialist training at the School of Infantry at Catterick in North Yorkshire on a combined course. Junior Entry Infantry recruits will receive their basic training at either the Army Training Regiment (ATR) at Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire or the Army Foundation College at Harrogate; they then move to Catterick for Phase 2 specialist Infantry training. It is our intention that no Infantry training will in future be carried out at other ATRs, although a number of adult Standard Entry recruits are still completing their initial training at ATR Glencorse, ATR Lichfield, ATR Pirbright and ATR Winchester.

Armed Forces

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the in-year requirement for UK trained Army, Naval Service and Royal Air Force personnel has been in each of the past five years; and what the requirement will be in 2003. [53606]

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Mr. Ingram: The in-year requirements for UK trained personnel for each of the past five years are detailed in the following table.

Naval Service(21)Army(22)RAF
1 April 199742,911103,35356,445
1 April 199841,937102,82554,527
1 April 199940,943102,38953,024
1 April 200039,863103,08652,160
1 April 200139,897103,92651,594

(21) This represents the requirement for UK Trained Army Personnel (UKTAP) and excludes the requirement for the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel and Gurkha Trained Army Manpower (GURTAM)

(22) Figure excludes the requirement for FTRS personnel

The requirement on 1 April 2003 for the Naval Service is currently assessed at 38,321 personnel and for the RAF it will be approximately 49,000. Detailed work is still under way to determine the Army's requirement for 2003.

National Missile Defence

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) EU member states and (b) the EU Commissioner for External Relations, regarding a European Union view on national missile defence. [53599]

Mr. Hoon: None. Missile defence is not a matter for the European Union.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what agreements have been made with the USA regarding the use of UK facilities at (a) Fylingdales and (b) Menwith Hill. [53585]

Mr. Ingram: The use of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station at RAF Fylingdales by the United Kingdom and the United States is governed by an exchange of notes between the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the American ambassador, dated 15 February 1960.

As with other UK bases that are made available to the United States visiting forces, the use of RAF Menwith Hill is governed by the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951 and additional confidential arrangements.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with UK firms bidding for work on the US-initiated programme of national missile defence; and if he will make a statement. [53598]

Mr. Hoon: Expertise relating to missile defence was developed by a number of the United Kingdom companies during the Technology Readiness and Risk Assessment Programme sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. An unclassified summary of the report was placed in the Library of the House on 26 February 2002. Regular discussions with firms take place as part of continuing activity in this area.


Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the number of civilians who have been

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killed in Afghanistan since the commencement of international coalition military action against terrorists in that country; and if he will make a statement. [53751]

Mr. Hoon: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 860W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones).

Missile Defence

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the prospects are for a missile defence system that can cover the European countries of NATO; and if he will make a statement. [53692]

Mr. Hoon: The United States has made clear that it wishes to see friends and allies protected from the emerging threat posed by ballistic missiles. However, it has yet to put forward any detailed plans.

Sea Harriers

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 April 2002, Official Report, columns 823–4W, on Sea Harriers, if he will estimate the value of the savings to which he refers in column 824W. [53534]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 30 April 2002]: I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave to him on 29 April 2002 Official Report, column 531W.

Medical Treatment (Waiting Times)

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) officers and (b) other ranks are awaiting medical treatment; and how many of these have been waiting over three months. [53872]

Dr. Moonie: Service patients are mainly treated in Defence Secondary Care Agency (DSCA) administered Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs) situated in National Health Service (NHS) Trusts, in other NHS hospitals as NHS patients or in DSCA Directly Managed Units in the United Kingdom and overseas. The Army administers secondary care in Northern Ireland. The British Forces Germany Health Service provides secondary care for Service personnel in Germany, where there are generally no waiting lists.

The MOD only maintains central records on the overall number of Armed Forces patients awaiting inpatient treatment (including daycase surgery) at MDHUs. MDHU waiting list information as at 31 December 2001 for all MDHUs except Portsmouth, for which the waiting list information is at 30 September 2001, is provided in the following table. These are the latest dates for which information is available.

Waiting time (months)Number of service patients waiting
0–3 months1,166
3+ months897
Total waiting2,063

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Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut (Fatalities)

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what special inquiries have been undertaken in relation to two recent deaths from bullet wounds at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, near Camberley, Surrey; and if he will make a statement. [53885]

Dr. Moonie: The recent deaths of two soldiers at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, are the subject of on-going investigations by the Surrey police. An Army Board of Inquiry will be held into each incident in due course, although this cannot take place until such time the associated police investigations are complete.


Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel (a) with children and (b) without children in the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Navy and (iii) RAF are earning under £92.90 per week after tax and national insurance deductions; and if he will make a statement. [53762]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2002, Official Report, column 425W. The minimum rate of pay for armed forces personnel (for Army new entrants under 17 only) is currently £8,997 per annum. As this is considerably greater than £92.90 per week (£4,830.80 per annum) and the adult new entrant rate is even higher at £10,778 per annum, an individual in the armed forces would not, therefore, receive as little as £92.90 per week after normal tax and national insurance contributions.

Comprehensive information on parental status is not held, for example on those single personnel with children, or married with a spouse with children from a previous relationship. Information on the parental status of individual armed forces personnel in receipt of specific rates of pay could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Warship Support Modernisation Initiative

Syd Rapson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assurances will be given on the terms and conditions for the staff to be transferred to the private sector as part of the Warship Support Modernisation initiative. [54787]

Mr. Ingram: Following successful discussions between officials from my Department, MOD trade unions and the prospective partnering companies, my Department and the partnering companies have signed a Joint Statement of Intent on the transfer of staff to the private sector under the Warship Support Modernisation initiative. The Joint Statement of Intent gives assurances that current terms and conditions, including redundancy provision, will transfer in full in compliance with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations and the MOD TUPE Code of Practice. New pension arrangements, broadly comparable to those currently enjoyed under the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, will be offered to those who transfer.

The partnering companies have stated their intention to achieve any changes to pay and conditions of employment through consultation and negotiation. It is also their intention to achieve any job reductions that may arise through natural wastage and voluntary means to avoid

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compulsory redundancies. The companies confirm their commitment to work fully with the recognised trade unions after the transfer. These assurances are set out in full in the Joint Statement of Intent, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House.

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