27 Oct 2003 : Column 1W
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid by his Department in respect of landing fees for British military aircraft using commercial airfields (a) in each of the last three years and (b) so far in 2003, broken down by airfield. 
Mr. Ingram: Information on landing fees is not held by airfield, and cannot be provided in this format. Figures are available for the United Kingdom and overseas, by budget area, but these figures include handling charges and associated costs (e.g. parking, training, transport and navigation). In some cases the figures are not available from current records and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Financial year 200102||Financial year 200203||Financial year 200304|
|Land (joint helicopter) command|
(1) Disproportionate cost.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the contracts for consultancy and work carried out by Bechtel in each year since 1997, stating in each case (a) the nature of the work, (b) the value of the contract and (c) the duration of the contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 22 October 2003]: The Ministry of Defence has placed one direct contract with Bechtel Limited since 1997. It covers the provision of project management services in support of a programme of assistance to the Russian Government in respect of chemical demilitarisation. The contract was placed on 24 January 2003 with a three year duration with two separate one year options to extend.
27 Oct 2003 : Column 2W
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many C130J Hercules have been delivered; and how many serviceable engines there are; how many C130J Hercules aircraft are grounded because of a shortage of (a) spares and (b) software; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 16 October 2003, Official Report, columns 32122W, on military aid to Colombia, if he will break down the figures of (a) £48,296 and (b) £77,934 into major expenditure category. 
Mr. Ingram: These figures relate to the cost of courses attended by two officers of the Colombian Armed Forces in the UK. One officer attended the Royal College of Defence Studies course and one is currently attending the Advanced Command and Staff College.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with representatives of Governments participating in the International Security Assistance force in Afghanistan about the use of depleted uranium ammunitions (a) during and (b) after the conflict in Afghanistan; what Governments raised concerns about this matter; what those concerns were; how they were addressed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Depleted Uranium (DU) ammunition has not been used by Allied Forces in Afghanistan and has therefore not featured significantly in the discussions that take place amongst nations participating in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
27 Oct 2003 : Column 3W
|1 April 1997||639|
|1 April 1998||615|
|1 April 1999||581|
|1 April 2000||543|
|1 April 2001||545|
|1 April 2002||523|
|1 April 2003||548|
The numbers of flying posts in the RAF are subject to constant review and will change throughout a year.
27 Oct 2003 : Column 4W
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tankers have been hired by his Department to transport fuel for the Royal Navy and at what cost, in each of the past three years. 
|Financial year||Ship||Cost (£)||Remarks|
|200102||MV Tees fisher||17,750||Coastal Tanker to supply HMS Albion with fuel post build|
|MT Bardsey||45,178||Coastal Tanker to supply fuel to HMS Ark Royal post refit|
|200203||MV Mersey Fisher||98,242||Coastal Tanker to supply HMS Invincible with fuel post refit|
|200304||MV Dicksi||87,500||Ocean/Tanker to supply fuel to Oil Fuel Depot Thanckes(2)|
|MT Black Rock||44,678||Coastal Tanker to supply fuel to HMS Bulwark post build|
|MV Mersey Fisher||24,375||Coastal Tanker to supply fuel to HMS Bulwark post build|
(2) This vessel had to be chartered by the Department because the MOD's vessel, the Maersk Rapier was delayed while on a commercial charter. Cost of this voyage is in the process of being entirely recouped by the MOD as compensation against the third party who chartered the MOD's vessel and were responsible for the delay.
The MOD also has the Maersk Rapier on permanent charter. The Rapier is a multi-tasked tanker which not only supplies all fuel to the naval facilities in the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands and Souda Bay, Crete but it is also chartered to supply aviation fuel to Cyprus, Ascension Island and Falkland Islands. The MOD charters the vessel to commercial companies when it is not in use for defence requirements.
In accordance with this aim, Coalition Provisional Authority policy, which states that no person shall possess small arms in a public place with the exception of Coalition Forces and those who have been authorised to carry weapons by Coalition Forces, is being enforced with due sensitivity to local customs.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it Government policy to launch inquiries into incidents in which Iraqi civilians have been killed in Iraq by United Kingdom and United States military forces since the end of the conflict. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 15 September 2003]: We investigate every incident in which we can confirm that there has been a civilian fatality, and it has allegedly been caused by United Kingdom military personnel.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the United States Administration in respect of the publication of the report of the finding of the Iraq Survey Group; and when it will be published. 
Dr. David Kay published his Statement on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group on 2 October. It can be found at www.cia.gov and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
27 Oct 2003 : Column 5W
Mr. Hoon: I have recently returned from a visit to Iraq where I discussed infrastructure development with United Kingdom forces, the Coalition Provisional Authority and local leaders. I witnessed first hand the hard work and determination to ensure the success of reconstruction and security sector reform in Iraq.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement outlining the circumstances under which the test tube of botulinum was discovered in Iraq and how long it had been stored in its place of discovery. 
Mr. Hoon: The Iraq Survey Group was led to the vial of "Clostridium botulinum" okra B in the home of an Iraqi BW scientist. It was found in the kitchen in a container with other vials, which are believed to have been stored there for some time.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement regarding his assessment of the United Kingdom Government's claim that Niger was prepared to sell uranium to Iraq. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why British experts on the Iraq Survey Group have not been given access to the classified version of the report presented by David Kay; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon : The classified version of Dr. David Kay's Interim Report on the work of the Iraq Survey Group was drawn up in consultation with United Kingdom, United States and Australian experts working in the field in Iraq.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the test tube discovered in Iraq contained (a) the bacteria botulinum and (b) the toxin itself; what strain it was; how many times more toxic than the nerve agent VX the B strain is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The vial contained viable "Clostridium botulinum" type B organisms. This would have allowed the Iraqis to grow from this seed stock increasing quantities of "Clostridium botulinum" from which its toxin could be derived. The toxin could then have been weaponised.
The vial was labelled as "Clostridium botulinum" strain Okra B. This micro-organism can produce botulinum toxin type B. "Clostridium botulinum" toxin type B is many times more toxic than VX nerve agent.
27 Oct 2003 : Column 6W
The comparison varies depending on the route by which each is applied, on the methods by which the botulinum toxin is prepared and on the subject to which it is applied.
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