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14 Mar 2003 : Column 432Wcontinued
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on releasing information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to unpublished papers concerning the Scott Report and Mr. Gerald James. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 March 2003]: It is Ministry of Defence policy to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 once it enters into force. Requests for personal data will continue to be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, as amended by the Freedom of Information Act.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on progress with implementing the Headline Goal to give the European Union the means of carrying out the full range of Petersberg missions; and if he will make a statement; 
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(3) what assessment has been made of shortfalls in the military capabilities of the EU member states; what assessment he has made of the prospects for overcoming them; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The Helsinki Headline Goal has been broken down into 144 capability targets, of which 104 had been met following the Capabilities Improvement Conference in November 2001. Of the 40 shortfalls about half may be resolved by improved management of existing forces. For the rest, a European Capability Action Plan (ECAP) was launched after the conference, comprising multinational panels tasked with suggesting possible solutions.
Steady progress has been made with implementing ECAP. The panels are in the process of issuing their final reports. Panel suggestions will be taken forward by Member States on a voluntary basis, with steps being taken to establish "Project Groups" to take these solutions forward. Decisions on defence budgets and priorities within them are matters for individual member states.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures have been taken to incorporate the fight against international terrorism within the range of European Security and Defence Policy missions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) seeks to enable the European Union to deal with the full range of conflict prevention and crisis management missions defined in the Treaty, the "Petersberg Tasks". These missions (humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking) already give ESDP considerable scope to assist in the fight against international terrorism. Further work was commissioned, building on the Declaration of the Seville European Council concerning the contribution of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy, including ESDP, in the fight against terrorism. This includes strengthening arrangements for sharing intelligence, and developing common threat evaluations. We are also supporting, in the framework of the Convention on the Future of Europe and elsewhere, proposals to allow a member state to call on the resources, including military, of other EU members, for civil protection tasks, following a terrorist attack.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many extra body bags his Department has ordered as part of contingency planning for any war against Iraq; how many his Department holds in stock; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Department undertakes routine purchasing of body bags to maintain stock levels. The most recent order, to replenish stocks and provide for contingency requirements, was for a total of 4,040 bags. Deliveries have commenced.
The Ministry of Defence does not hold a centralised data on the holding of body bags, most of which are held at unit level, with a reserve held by the Defence Storage Distribution Agency and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has received a copy of the pages of the Riegle report published by the US Senate on 25 May 1994, which lists the materials exported to Iraq which could contribute to a biological warfare programme; and if he will seek to establish from the USA what threat these materials provide to troops engaged in warfare with Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2003]: The Ministry of Defence is aware of the Riegle report. We remain concerned that Iraq continues with efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, as set out in the dossier "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction" published by the Government last September.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has received about the amount of (a) bacillus anthracis, (b) clostridium botulinum, (c) histoplasma capsulatum, (d) brucella melitensis and (e) clostridium perfingens which have been exported from the USA to Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2003]: We share information with allies and believe we have a good understanding of the potential threat that may derive from the biological materials, knowledge and technology known to be available to Iraq.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the consequences will be for troops operating in the Iraq area of the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission's possession of (a) E-coli, (b) genetic materials and (c) human and bacterial DNA. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2003]: The United Kingdom believes that the possession by Iraq of E-coli, genetic materials or human and bacterial DNA poses less of a hazard than their continuing efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, as set out in the dossier "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction" published by the Government last September.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Jaguar combat aircraft (a) have been produced under licence in India and (b) are contracted to be produced under licence in India. 
Mr. Ingram: I am withholding the information requested in accordance with Exemptions lb, 3 and 14 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information that relate to information whose disclosure would harm the conduct of international relations or affairs, to commercial confidences of a third party, and to information given in confidence.
Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government has taken to ensure that contracts for overseas work awarded by the US to (a) British private military companies and (b) UK-based subsidiaries of US companies do not include the handling, storage and maintenance of anti-personnel mine stockpiles. 
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Mr. Ingram: The Landmines Act 1998 prohibits certain conduct, including using or possessing an anti-personnel mine, or participating in the acquisition or transfer of an anti-personnel mine, or assisting, encouraging or inducing such conduct. These offences apply to conduct in the United Kingdom and to conduct by United Kingdom nationals elsewhere. Any indication of illegal activity would be a matter for the law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Ingram: Out of shelf life ordnance, or that for which no market can be found, is destroyed by the Ministry of Defence under a contract with QinetiQ. Any base materials (i.e. brass cartridge cases) are sold for recycling.
Disposal by sale of surplus ordnance is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence's Disposal Services Agency (DSA). That which is not sold overseas on a Government to Government basis (or gifted to Jordan under the Al Hussein Project) is disposed of within the United Kingdom or overseas by sale to properly licensed concerns through DSA's Marketing Agreement with Royal Ordnance PLC (now BAE systems).
17,265,342 round of small arms ammunition .22 to 30mm, grenades and mortar bombs.
102,156 rounds of large calibre e.g. 105mm to 155mm, 4.5 inch ammunition.
159,995 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Arisings.
5,470,802 rounds of small arms ammunition .22 to 30mm, grenades and mortar bombs.
60,978 rounds of large calibre e.g. 105mm to 155mm, 4.5 inch ammunition.
392,930 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Arisings.
1,212,124 rounds of small arms ammunition .22 to 30mm, grenades and mortar bombs.
241,861 rounds of large calibre e.g. 105mm to 155mm, 4.5 inch ammunition.
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7,114,866 rounds of small arms ammunition.
1,228,970 rounds of small arms ammunition.
686,998 rounds of small arms ammunition.
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