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Royal Navy Vessels (Asylum Seekers)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Royal Navy vessels, and of which types, have been identified as being suitable for the control and interception of asylum seekers; [62232]

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Mr. Ingram: The management of all issues relating to immigration and asylum are the responsibility of the Home Office. Should they require military assistance, procedures are in place for them to make a request to the Ministry of Defence. No request has been received relating to the interception of asylum seekers in either national or international waters.


Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects work to be completed on the assessment of the airflow around the fuselage of the C130J Hercules aircraft. [62220]

Mr. Ingram: We are currently looking at what effect the airflow characteristics of the C130J Hercules aircraft has on its role in the aerial delivery of paratroopers and material. Separate trials are required for the C130J Mk5 and Mk4 aircraft and it is expected that all elements of the work will be successfully completed by mid-2003.

Contaminated Land

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what regulations cover radioactively contaminated land (a) owned and (b) managed by his Department. [61965]

Mr. Ingram: At present there are no regulations covering specifically radioactively contaminated land. However, a consultation paper on the control and remediation of radioactively contaminated land was jointly published by the then Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Welsh and Scottish Offices in February 1998. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering the way forward on regulations concerning radioactively contaminated land in the light of the responses to that consultation.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent studies have been conducted by (a) his Department, (b) non-departmental public bodies responsible to his Department and (c) consultants on behalf of his Department into the clean up of (i) radioactively contaminated land and (ii) land contaminated by non- radioactive toxic pollution. [61963]

Mr. Ingram: In 1995 the Ministry of Defence embarked on a prioritised programme to assess the land quality across the defence estate. More than 600 land quality assessments have been carried out across the defence estate since the start of the programme. The land quality assessment work carried out to date has indicated that the majority of the defence estate is free of contamination, and where contamination has been identified, it has been predominantly localised and confined to soil horizons. The common contaminants are metals, fuels, oils and lubricants, solvents, and to a lesser extent, asbestos and radionuclides from luminised instruments. Where contamination has been encountered, appropriate management actions have been taken.

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Nuclear Materials (Transportation)

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was (a) the origin of the consignment, (b) the physical form, (c) the isotopic composition and (d) the quantity of the nuclear materials delivered from the United States to RAF Brize Norton on 19 April; what carrier was used for the delivery; and whether the consignment is covered by the Reppir regulations on radiological emergencies and public information. [61960]

Mr. Ingram: I am withholding details in accordance with Exemption 1—defence, security and international relations—of the code of practice on access to Government.

Dirty Radioactive Bombs

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research has been undertaken (a) by and (b) on behalf of his Department into prophylactic measures to deal with dirty radioactive bombs. [61968]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence does not carry out research targeted at dealing with dirty radioactive bombs. However, my Department is carrying out relevant research, including work on the nuclear and radiological aspects of military NBC defence, a review of potential radiological weapons, and support to development of equipment for use by service personnel in military operations, such as radiation alarms, dosimeters and survey meters. Among other things, this contributes to the Home Office led, inter-departmental mechanisms that ensure the Government can prevent, and respond to the widest possible range of terrorist actions in the United Kingdom.


Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last held discussions with the Indian Defence Minister. [62186]

Mr. Hoon: I last had formal discussions with my counterpart, the Indian Defence Minister on 22 January 2002. Although we met briefly at the International Institute for Strategic Studies conference on Asian security held in Singapore between 31 May and 2 June 2000, it was not possible to hold substantive discussions.

Jobs (Scotland)

Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of jobs in Scotland (a) directly and (b) indirectly dependent on defence expenditure. [61969]

Mr. Ingram: The most recent figures published by the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) indicate that there are 9,044 civilian personnel and 14,460 service personnel directly employed by the Ministry of Defence in Scotland. The most recent figures for civilian and service personnel are from April 2002 and July 2001 respectively.

It is estimated that around 6,000 people are supported by the placement of MOD contracts in Scotland. This is the most recent figure available and relates to the year 1998–99.

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At present, we do not have any figures to suggest how many people are supported by MOD work that has been sub-contracted to Scottish firms.

It is difficult to estimate the indirect jobs that MOD generates and we are currently reviewing our multiplier methodology. As a rule of thumb, using a multiplier of 0.5, a further 14,752 people may be indirectly supported by the MOD presence in Scotland both through firms which supply goods and services to MOD/contractor establishments in Scotland (indirect jobs), and through consumer spending by MOD/contractor employees in the country (induced effects).

Troop Deployments

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops are stationed abroad; and in which countries. [62184]

Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to Tri-Service Publication 6: Global Deployment of Service Personnel. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library and is updated on a six-monthly basis.

Army (Recruitment)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications to join the Army from Northern Ireland were rejected on national security grounds in each year since 1998. [62642]

Mr. Ingram: Applications to join the Army in Northern Ireland that were rejected for all reasons for the period requested as follows:

Financial yearApplications rejected

(5) To date.

In common with other Government Departments, it is the Ministry of Defence's policy to maintain the freedom to accept, or reject, any person for employment without disclosing the reason why.

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications to join the Army were made in each year since 1998. [62641]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is as follows:

Financial Year Number of applications

(6) To 31 May.

Defence Procurement

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) of 10 June 2002, Official

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Report, column 748W, if he will state which of the countries listed have offset agreements with the UK; what the value of UK defence exports to each listed country in each year since 1997 was; and in how many cases MOUs were signed after June 1997. [63040]

Dr. Moonie: The only Government to Government offset arrangement is that associated with the Al Yamamah programme in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise offset arrangements are normally a matter between the customer and the vendor company. Information on commercial offset agreements are not held centrally by the Ministry of Defence and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Lists of licences granted for the countries mentioned in the answer of 10 June can be found in copies of the Strategic Export Controls annual reports for 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000. Copies of these reports can be found in the Library of the House. The 2001 edition is currently being prepared.

Since 1997 the UK Government have signed 47 memorandums of understandings. Countries featured are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.

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