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7 Nov 2002 : Column 496W—continued

Eurofighter

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many orders have been received for the Eurofighter (Typhoon). [79272]

Dr. Moonie: I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Mercantile Marine

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many applications for war disablement pensions were made by members of the Mercantile Marine, in each of the last 20 years for which figures are available; and how many of these were (a) accepted and (b) rejected; [79462]

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7 Nov 2002 : Column 498W

Dr. Moonie: The tables set out the figures available relating to applications for war disablement pension, from members of the Mercantile Marine and eligible members of the Armed Forces. A separate figure for rejected claims is not available. Information on applications before 1996 is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Mercantile Marine

2001–20022000–20011999–20001998–19991997–19981996–1997
Received83989797187265
Cleared(3)78113115138225403
Awarded3742433234185
Rejected or withdrawn417172106191218

Armed Forces

2001–20022000–20011999–20001989–19991997–19981996–1997
Received9,62010,79911,59913,80716,77826,842
Cleared(3)11,10610,80913,12813,28622,35234,385
Awarded9,6969,33511,18711,23118,72929,315
Rejected or withdrawn1,4101,4741,9412,0553,6235,070

Note:

(3) May include claims uncleared from the previous year.


Mr. Gorden Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications for war disablement pensions were made by (a) members of the Mercantile Marine and (b) other eligible branches of the armed forces in respect of skin cancer and other associated conditions have been (i) upheld and (ii) rejected by tribunals in each of the past 20 years, for which figures are available. [79491]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Unexploded Ordnance

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what changes there have been to the British Army's practice in clearing unexploded ordnance in foreign training grounds used by our forces since his Department's payment of compensation to the victims of British munitions in Kenya; [80291]

Mr. Ingram: The British Army employs the same robust procedures for clearing unexploded ordnance overseas as it does in the United Kingdom. In Kenya there has been an increase in Explosive Ordnance Clearance (EOC) in the last two years, in order to minimise the risk to local civilians. This work includes the location and destruction of unexploded munitions irrespective of which nation's armed forces have fired them. No change in practice have been made subsequent to compensation payments.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to contract clearance of unexploded ordnance at foreign military training sites used by British forces to specialist firms with appropriate expertise. [80290]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently no plans for the Ministry of Defence to contract out ordnance clearance on foreign military training sites.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Kenyan nationals are locally employed in assisting the British Army to clear unexploded ordnance at the Archer's Post training ground in Kenya; and how much of the training ground has been cleared. [80219]

Mr. Ingram: The British Army employs two Locally Employed Civilians (LECs) as Range Officers on behalf of the Kenyan Department of Defence (DoD). These LECs do not participate in the destruction of munitions, as this is the responsibility of Army personnel. The British Army conducts clearance operations on all areas of ranges that it uses for live firing.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provision the British Army has made to educate Kenyan civilians who live and work near the military training ground at Archer's Post about associated dangers. [80292]

Mr. Ingram: Each year, the British Army conducts an education programme for the local civilians regarding the hazards of unexploded munitions. This informs people in the Archer's Post area, including the nomadic farmers, of the different types of Kenyan and other munitions that they might find in the area.

John Bredenkamp

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contacts his Department's officials have had in the last three years with (a) John Bredenkamp and (b) companies controlled by or associated with John Bredenkamp. [80331]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has extensive contact with industry and individuals. It would therefore entail disproportionate costs to establish what contacts the Department's officials have had with particular individuals or companies in the last three

7 Nov 2002 : Column 499W

years. The Government is aware of the allegations made against the named individual in the UN Panel Report, and the appropriate authorities are looking into them.

State Opening of Parliament

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel took part in the ceremony for the State Opening of Parliament in 2001; and how many he estimates will take part in 2002. [79842]

Mr. Ingram: The number of Armed Forces personnel who took part in the ceremony for the State Opening of Parliament in 2001 was 1,121. Five hundred and twenty personnel will participate in 2002. This reduction is the result of preparatory deployments against the contingency of industrial action by the Fire Brigade Union.

Servicemen (Absenteeism)

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many servicemen are absent without leave from their units; and what the figure was on 1 October 2001. [76667]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 October 2002]: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what public consultations have been commenced by his Department in each month since 10 October; and what the (a) start date, (b) closing date and (c) website address of each were. [80265]

Mr. Ingram: None.

Eurofighter Typhoon

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Eurofighter Typhoons will be ordered by the armed forces; and when the armed forces will take delivery of the Eurofighter Typhoon. [78632]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave on 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 878W to the right hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack). There has been no change in the Government's commitment to the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Royal Air Force expects to take delivery of its total fleet of aircraft during the next 12 years.

Parliamentary Questions

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will answer the question of 22 July from the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford. [79868]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is still being collated. Once this is available, I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Public Consultations

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what public consultations have been commenced by his Department in each month since 10 October; and what the (a) start date, (b) closing date and (c) website address of each were. [80265]

7 Nov 2002 : Column 500W

Mr. Ingram: None.

Royal Ordnance (Bishopton)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the NAO report on the Royal Ordnance factory at Bishopton will be published. [46425]

Dr. Moonie: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.


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