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Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason he has refused to allow veterans of World War II Arctic convoys to receive the Defence of the Soviet Arctic Region medal; and if he will reconsider the decision. 
Dr. Moonie: Ministry of Defence has not refused veterans of the Second World War who participated in the convoys to Russia permission to wear the Defence of the Soviet Arctic Region medal. Any official approach from a foreign Government requesting permission to distribute foreign medals to British citizens would be the responsibility of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In this case I am advised that the Russians have made no such request. However, if the Russian authorities ask for their Defence of the Soviet Arctic Region Medal to be officially recognised, the matter will be carefully deliberated, as are all similar requests from foreign governments.
Dr. Moonie: Difficulties experienced on the Royal Navy's Joint Tactical Information Distribution System have concerned the complex integration activity inherent in such a programme. The programme is now proceeding satisfactorily on the basis of incremental capability delivery.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in the past year disciplinary action has been taken against military personnel accused of giving false evidence in criminal proceedings; what action was taken in each case. 
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Dr. Moonie: None. In accordance with the long established policy of successive Governments, the cost of erecting war memorials or their subsequent maintenance is not met from public funds but from private donations or public subscription. National Servicemen will be included in the eligibility criteria for the Armed Forces Memorial which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 313W and 21 March 2002, Official Report, column 449W.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations Her Majesty's Government has made concerning the financial support provided by the New Zealand government to New Zealand test veterans to support research into the health impact on them of British nuclear tests. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has made no representations concerning financial support provided by the New Zealand Government to New Zealand nuclear test veterans to support research into the health impact on them of British nuclear tests.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the result has been of the investigation into the circumstances of the death of Private Alison Croft at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon, Oxfordshire on 2 October; at what time police were called; what steps were taken to secure evidence at the scene of the death;
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what the conclusions were of their inquiry; what was the nature of the post mortem examination, by whom it was carried out; and what were the findings; at what time were relatives of the deceased notified; and what arrangements he has made for (a) an inquest and (b) a board of inquiry. 
Dr. Moonie: Private Alison Croft died at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, on 28 September 2002. The associated civilian police investigation is still ongoing. In light of this, it would be inappropriate to comment on the circumstances of the investigation at this time.
Her Majesty's Coroner is the appropriate authority to determine the arrangements for an inquest, not the Ministry of Defence, although the Department will aim to provide assistance where required. A determination has yet to be made as to whether a Board of Inquiry will be held.
Dr. Moonie: There are no plans to amend the qualifying criteria for the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal to include those who had left the armed forces before 6 February 2002, regardless of whether they had a reserve liability or not.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the total combined strength of the Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment had been for (a) part-time and (b) full-time soldiers in each year since its formation; 
Dr. Moonie: The Royal Irish Regiment was formed from the amalgamation of the Royal Irish Rangers and the Ulster Defence Regiment on 1 July 1992. The combined strength of the Home Service Battalions as at that date for each year since its formation is included in the table:
There are currently three Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment in Northern Ireland. As at 1 October 2002, the number of part-time and full-time personnel, in each Home Service Battalion is set out in the table.
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|2 R Irish||558||385|
|3 R Irish||697||573|
|4 R Irish||606||478|
Dr. Moonie: There is currently no Chaplains' Branch in the Royal Naval Reserve, it having been disestablished in the early nineties. However, a Chaplains' Branch is scheduled to be re-established as a Royal Naval Reserve branch and this will take effect from 1 January 2003. The Branch will have 18 members, who will be part of a Naval Home Command headquarters unit, trained and administered by the Director General Naval Chaplaincy Service. They will be appointed to Naval Bases and Shore Establishments, where they will be liable for duty should it be necessary for regular Naval Service Chaplains to be deployed operationally.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people applied to join the (a) Army and (b) Naval Service and (c) Royal Air Force in each of the past five years; and how many of those were accepted. 
(1) Figures for 200203 show the position as at 30 September 2002.
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