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17 Dec 2002 : Column 718W—continued

Iraq

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role of the Common European Security and Defence Policy in the conflict with Iraq. [87311]

Mr. Hoon: As the Government have stressed repeatedly, no decisions have been taken with regard to military action in Iraq. Military action there is neither imminent nor inevitable. The European Security and Defence Policy allows the EU to launch military operations where NATO as a whole is not engaged. Any European Security and Defence Policy operation would be within the scope of the Petersberg tasks, which are defined in the EU Treaty as: Xhumanitarian and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking".

Kuwait

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops have been deployed in Kuwait in each month since September 2001; and if he will make a statement. [85372]

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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 9 December 2002]: The number of armed forces personnel serving in Kuwait undergoes regular minor fluctuations as working practices and establishment requirements are generated or reviewed, and deployments start or finish for training, liaison and defence diplomacy purposes. The figures given are taken on or near the mid-month point.

YearNumber
September 2001471
October 2001525
November 2001497
December 2001482
January 2002501
February 2002517
March 2002502
April 2002494
May 2002504
June 2002497
July 2002480
August 2002470
September 2002588
October493
November626

The numbers for September and November this year are higher than average because in both months Royal Engineers deployed to Ali Al Salem air base to undertake various necessary building works.

Networked Capabilities

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations have been made with the US Department of Defense on the development of network centric capabilities compatible with those being developed by the US. [85657]

Dr. Moonie: We are continuously engaged in consultation and co-operation with the United States to support the development of compatible (both technically and doctrinally) networked capabilities. Consultation takes place at a departmental level, between United Kingdom and US services and at individual project level.

Naval Procurement

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) has been spent on naval procurement in each of the last five financial years and (b) is scheduled to be spent on naval procurement in each of the next five years. [84379]

Dr. Moonie: Figures for the amount the Ministry of Defence spent on defence equipment procurement for the years 1996–97 to 2000–01 were published by the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) in XUK Defence Statistics" (copies of which are available in the Library of the House).

Until 1998–99, this publication contained a split of the equipment procurement total by amount spent in each of four environments entitled Xsea", Xland", Xair" and Xother". This division did not however necessarily match the particular end destination of the equipment; for example not all Xsea" equipment was for use by the

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Navy—programmes such as the Nimrod Maritime Aircraft came under Xsea". XOther" referred to equipment not specific to a particular environment.

Changes in accounting practice meant that it was not been possible to produce an environment split on a consistent basis after 1998–99. However, for the two years 1999–2000 and 2000–01, it has been possible to produce illustrative estimates of the split for the Xsea" environment using data from the MOD (cash) central ledger. Comparable data are not available beyond 2000–01 due to the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting.

Equipment procurement expenditure and that for the Xsea" environment— VAT inclusive at current prices
million

Net equipment procurementOf which: Sea equipment procurement
1996–979,1002,190
1997–989,0032,142
1998–999,8892,319
1999–20009,715*2,233
2000–0110,008*2,211

Notes:

1. All figures are inclusive of VAT, which cannot be recovered by the Department.

2. Sea equipment is not only used by the Navy.

Source:

UK Defence Statistics 2002 apart from those marked with a *, which are illustrative estimates drawn from the MOD (cash) central ledger.


The Ministry of Defence does not use categories such as Xnaval procurement" when producing plans as to possible future spend on equipment for the armed forces. Focus is instead on capability. Some information, including the estimated cost, of a number of major projects, including the future carrier, astute submarine and the Type 45 destroyer, is however published each year in the National Audit Office's XMajor Project Report". The 2002 report was published on 4 December.

Nuclear Weapons Tests

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many former British service people and military medical auxiliaries have been identified from (a) research conducted by or on behalf of his Department and (b) medical statistical data compiled by the former medical division of the Department of Social Security as suffering from the conditions (i) duodenitis and (ii) duodenal ulcer associated with or caused by exposure to irradiation from British atmospheric nuclear tests. [87581]

Dr. Moonie: No specific analysis of the incidence of these medical conditions among those who participated in the British atmospheric nuclear tests has been carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. In the 1993, National Radiological Protection Board report NRPB-R266, entitled XMortality and Cancer Incidence 1952–1990 in UK Participants in the UK Atmospheric Nuclear Weapon Tests and Experimental Programmes", deaths from duodenal ulcer and duodenitis were included in the category, Xother diseases of the digestive

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system", and are shown in Table 6.10 of the report. The table shows a total of 46 deaths in this category in the cohort of test participants up to the end of 1990.

No medical statistical data have been compiled by the former medical division of the Department of Social Security of nuclear test veterans suffering from these conditions associated with, or caused by, exposure to irradiation from British atmospheric nuclear tests.

Overseas Personnel

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel are serving overseas; and if he will make a statement. [87686]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to tri-service publication 6: XGlobal Location of Service Personnel" (TSP 6), a copy of which is held in the Library of the House and is updated on a quarterly basis.

Far East Prisoners of War

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the children of the Far East Prisoners of War (COFEPOW) in respect of the wish of the COFEPOW organisation to promote a memorial and cultural building at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. [87498]

Dr. Moonie: I have responded to a number of letters from hon. Members whose constituents, as members of COFEPOW, have expressed an interest in this subject.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make an ex gratia payment to far eastern ex-civilian prisoners of war whose great grandparents were born in the UK. [87779]

Dr. Moonie: The eligibility criterion for the ex gratia payment scheme in relation to former civilian internees held by the Japanese during World War II is that either they, or at least one of their parents or grandparents, should have been born in the United Kingdom. We have no plans to extend the criterion back another generation.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what major (a) variations and (b) delays there have been to the Private Finance Initiative contract for (i) the Electronic Messaging Service (Armymail) and (ii) TAFMIS (IT), since the contracts were signed; what has been the cost of the changes and delays; whether the partners in the PFIs were required to meet these costs; and if he will make a statement; [87579]

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Mr. Ingram: As this information is not held centrally, officials are working with the individual project teams to collate the data required, which may take some time to complete. 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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