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Enhanced Capability Grenade

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the enhanced capability grenade programme; what its size will be; and what weight of explosive will be carried by the new weapon. [71635]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The enhanced performance grenade entered service in July 2001. It is 9.5 cm high, including the fuse assembly, and 6 cm wide. It weights 465 grams, of which the explosives account for 155 grams.

Weapons Systems

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Spike missile systems, manufactured by Rafael of Israel, have been purchased by the Defence Procurement Agency; [71636]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The Ministry of Defence is considering the Spike and Javelin systems for the requirement in question. The Defence Procurement Agency acquired small quantities of components of both systems for the purpose of conducting comparative assessment trials. We plan to select the preferred weapon around the turn of the year and to introduce it into service in 2005.

Military Exercises

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the military exercises held in the Llandovery area on 17 June. [71764]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to my letter of 5 July (D/US of S/LM 3032/02/C) which explained that the exercise was conducted by the Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG), who were practising wide-ranging deployments, manoeuvres and communications over long distances—skills essential for their operational training. This exercise was originally scheduled for Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), but the location was changed at less than one month's notice due to urgent operational training requirements of a higher priority unit. The QDG

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are themselves a high readiness unit and their training was considered of sufficient importance to relocate to another area rather than to delay until SPTA became available.


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the cost of programmes designed to reduce waste and encourage re-use and recycling in each of the dual services in each year since 1997. [71663]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence does not currently collect data on the cost of programmes designed to reduce waste and encourage re-use and recycling. However, data collection on all environmental issues, including waste, should be greatly enhanced once implementation of the Department's corporate environmental management system has been completed in 2003–04.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what quantities of waste have been diverted from landfill by the environmental policies pursued by his Department in the past five years. [71667]

Dr. Moonie: While it is Ministry of Defence policy to divert waste away from landfill by encouraging recycling and minimisation schemes, waste management is handled in practice at a local level by a number of different professional waste contractors.

As these contractors are employed on an individual basis by various budget holders across the Department, information on the quantities of waste diverted from landfill is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures are being undertaken to ensure that Britain's military forces undergo modernisation and have the latest technology available. [72540]

Mr. Hoon: The Strategic Defence Review (SDR) set in hand a programme of equipment modernisation to ensure that our forces are fully able to meet future challenges. Those conclusions remain valid. But operations in Afghanistan, and work on the SDR New Chapter, have recently demonstrated that our forces will require the controlled, precise and rapid delivery of military effect—particularly through what is called 'network-centric capability', bringing together sensors and strike assets. The increase in the defence budget as a result of SR2002 will enable us to make investment necessary to acquire these sorts of capabilities.

General Service Medal

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the award of a general service medal to those who served in the armed forces in the Suez canal zone from 1951 to 1954. [72881]

Dr. Moonie: The Government consider it important to respect the principle that where there is a clear, demonstrable decision taken within five years of a campaign that a general service medal should not be awarded, that decision should not be reopened.

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The evidence relating to consideration of a general service medal for the Suez canal zone is, however, less clear-cut. A number of representations have been made by the veterans of that campaign with which the Government have considerable sympathy.

In view of these exceptional circumstances, the Government are setting up a small sub-committee of HD Committee under the chairmanship of General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank to report on the case for an exceptional award of a general service medal for the Suez canal zone without creating wider precedent or breaching long-standing principles which underpin the making of such awards.

Defence Housing Executive

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what key targets have been set for the Defence Housing Executive for the financial year 2002–03. [72882]

Dr. Moonie: The following key targets have been set for the Defence Housing Executive for 2002–03.

Key Target 1
To house at least 72 per cent. of families in accommodation that matches their entitlement by posting date or on return to GB from overseas, and at least 93 per cent. within 28 days of their required date;
and to give notice of address within 14 days of receipt of an application for accommodation. 1
Key Target 2
Less than 5 per cent. of occupants should experience significant defects within 14 days of moving in.
Key Target 3
To complete the upgrade of 1,200 properties by 31 March 2003 as part of the programme to upgrade all core stock required for the longer term.
Key Target 4
To complete:
at least 95 per cent. of emergency repairs within 24 hours of notification;
at least 90 per cent. of urgent repairs within five working days of notification;
at least 95 per cent. of routine repairs within two months of notification.
Key Target 5
To reduce the management margin progressively towards 10 per cent. by November 2005, to better balance supply and demand while delivering other key targets. (The DHE's interim target for 31 March 2003 is to have a management margin of 12.1 per cent.).
Key Target 6
To develop a method for indexing the level of satisfaction of SFA occupants. 2
1 The revised notice of address procedure will be introduced in December 2002. Therefore, benchmarking will take place over the last half of FY 2002–03 in order to determine the performance targets for subsequent years.
2 Benchmarking will take place during 2002–03 in order for DHE to be in a position by April 2003 to define precise targets for subsequent years.

Regarding key target 3 on the upgrade programme, as a result of good progress made to date, over 19,000 properties managed by DHE are now at standard one for condition, and some 90 per cent. of families are housed in properties at Standard one or two. The upgrade programme will

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continue to progress, with demanding targets set for DHE each year until the programme is completed against the services' long-term core requirements for family housing.

Copies of DHE's corporate plan will be placed in the Library of the House.

Gulf War

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest figures are for deaths of (a) Gulf veterans and (b) among the control group; and if he will make a statement. [72883]

Dr. Moonie: The latest data, as at 30 June 2002, are shown in Table 1. Because of concern among some Gulf veterans over deaths caused by cancer, Table 2 provides a detailed breakdown of deaths from cancer (malignant neoplasm) by anatomical site.

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We are currently discussing with the university of Manchester proposals for a detailed comparative study of the incidence of cancers among Gulf veterans and the Era comparison group and underlying factors, and hope to place a contract shortly. We also plan to commission a study of a cohort of Bosnia veterans on whom data are already available.

We are also discussing with the university of Manchester a detailed study of the factors underlying the figures for road traffic accident deaths, and hope to place a contract in the near future.

In addition, we have asked the Medical Research Council (MRC) to undertake an independent review of the research work that has been carried out into Gulf veterans' illnesses and advise on appropriate areas for future research. The MRC's conclusions will be published.

Table 1: Deaths to UK Gulf veterans(4) 1 April 1991–30 June 2002—Causes(5)

ICD Chapter/Cause of deathGulfEraMortality rate ratio(6)
All deaths5515471.00
All cause coded deaths5425371.00
I-XVI—Disease-related causes2132560.83
I—Infectious and parasitic diseases421.99
III—Endocrine and immune disorders140.25
V—Mental disorders11120.91
VI—Diseases of the nervous system and sense organs1081.24
VII—Diseases of the circulatory system71990.71
VIII—Diseases of the respiratory system1051.99
IX—Diseases of the digestive system12170.70
IV, X-XVI—All other disease-related causes2100.20
EXVII—External causes of injury and poisoning3292811.17
Railway accidents413.98
Motor vehicle accidents118921.27
Water transport accidents413.98
Air and space accidents25181.38
Other vehicle accidents020.00
Accidental poisoning11140.78
Accidental falls871.14
Accidents due to fire/flames020.00
Accidents due to natural environmental factors221.00
Accidents due to submersion/suffocation/foreign bodies1772.42
Other accidents31281.14
Late effects of accident/injury020.00
Suicide and injury undetermined whether accidental100971.03
Injury resulting from the operations of war340.75
Other deaths for which coded cause data are not yet available54
Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available46

(4) Service and ex-service personnel only.

(5) (Coded to ICD-9). World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision 1977.

(6) Mortality rate ratios differ marginally from the crude deaths ratio owing to some small differences between the Gulf and Era cohorts.

Table 2: Deaths due to neoplasms among UK Gulf veterans(7)
1 April 1991–30 June 2002—Major anatomical sites(8)

ICD 9SiteGulfEra
140–239All neoplasms9299
140–149Malignant neoplasm of lip, oral cavity and pharynx34
150–159Malignant neoplasm of digestive organs and peritoneum1823
160–165Malignant neoplasm of respiratory and intrathoracic organs1521
170–175Malignant neoplasm of bone, connective tissue, skin and breast148
179–189Malignant neoplasm of genitourinary organs24
190–199Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified site1826
200–208Malignant neoplasm of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue1911
239Unspecified nature32

(7) Service and ex-service personnel only.

(8) Coded to ICD-9. World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision 1977.

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