Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Dec 2003 : Column 273W—continued

Departmental Land

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total area of land owned by his Department within the UK is. [142287]

Mr. Caplin: Freehold Land and Foreshore holdings is 220,000 hectares.

8 Dec 2003 : Column 274W

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to sell land within the UK owned by his Department. [142288]

Mr. Caplin: The sites on which the Ministry of Defence operates within the United Kingdom are subject to regular review. The aim is to ensure that operational activities are conducted from the best locations commensurate with the primacy of operational effectiveness. The consideration of other key factors affecting our use of the estate includes the full range of sustainability issues, local planning regulations and the cost to the taxpayer of continuing occupation of a site.

Any site declared surplus to our operational requirements is prepared for disposal in accordance with developed policy. MOD has agreed with the Treasury to generate income of £500 million from the disposal of surplus land and property between 2003–04 and 2005–06. .

Irish Regiments

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Irish citizens have joined (a) the Royal Irish Regiment and (b) the Irish Guards in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [141844]

Mr. Ingram: The total number of Irish citizens who have joined the Irish Guards in each of the last five years is less than five; the total is less than 10. The total number of Irish citizens who have joined the Royal Irish Regiment in the last five years is 30, with fewer than 10 in each of the last five financial years. All numbers are rounded to the nearest five.

The totals are Irish citizens joining the above named Army units as trained and untrained officers and other ranks in financial years 1998–2003. The nationality is that of nationality at time of recruitment and not necessarily at birth.

Northern Ireland

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces have served in Northern Ireland. [142737]

Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 20 October 2003, Official Report, columns 374–75W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara).

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will support an extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to include all weapons which present any significant radiological risk. [142317]

Mr. Ingram: The scope of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is clearly restricted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. However, the UK raised the issue of the possible malevolent use of high-level radioactive sources by terrorists in its Statement to the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT 2005 Review Conference on 6 May 2003. As we indicated in that Statement, we supported the work of

8 Dec 2003 : Column 275W

the IAEA in concluding its Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources which was adopted in September this year, and we encourage the IAEA in its more security-focused work relating to radioactive sources. We welcomed the findings of the international conference on the Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna in March 2003. We support both the G8 Statement and its Action Plan on securing radioactive sources agreed at the Evian Summit earlier this year.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his US counterparts regarding the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty review. [142318]

Mr. Hoon: I have had no discussions with my US counterparts about the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. UK officials are in contact with US officials on issues relating to the NPT and the 2005 Review Conference.

Road Traffic Accidents

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many deaths of service personnel were due to road traffic accidents in each year since 1990; and how many and what proportion of deaths occurred (a) as part of a combat mission, (b) on military exercises, (c) inside barracks or military premises and (d) in civilian vehicles. [141800]

Mr. Ingram: Between 1990 and 2002 there were 807 road traffic accident (RTA) deaths among United Kingdom regular Service personnel (both trained and untrained), details of which by year are given in the following table. Of these, the NATO Standard Agreement (STANAG) (2050) coding system used to record injury-related deaths describes six (0.7 per cent.) as having occurred as Battle Casualties, 13 (1.6 per cent.) as having occurred during exercises, and the remaining 788 (97.6 per cent.) as accidental injuries. Information on the civilian ownership of vehicles is not specifically recorded, although 85 (10.6 per cent.) of the RTA deaths described were recorded as having occurred in military-owned vehicles. Information on the number of accidents which occurred inside barracks or on military premises is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Deaths of Regular Service personnel resulting from Road Traffic Accidents: 1990–2002


8 Dec 2003 : Column 276W

Service Personnel

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British service personnel are deployed or stationed in (a) Germany, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Bosnia, (d) Kosovo, (e) Cyprus, (f) Sierra Leone, (g) Afghanistan, (h) the Gulf region, (i) Turkey, (j) Gibraltar, (k) Belize, (l) Kenya, (m) Brunei, (n) Canada, (o) the Falklands and (p) Macedonia. [140682]

Mr. Ingram: As at the end of November 2003, the approximate number of British service personnel deployed or stationed in the locations specified are shown as follows:

Northern Ireland13,800
Sierra Leone120
The Gulf region9,200
The Falklands1,200

Sergeant Steven Roberts

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to be able to make available to his family the report of the investigation into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts in Iraq on 24 March; and if he will make a statement. [142035]

Mr. Ingram: It is not yet clear when the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch (SIB) investigation will conclude: some evidence has yet to be collected and some witnesses have still to be interviewed. A briefing will be offered to Sergeant Roberts' widow as soon as is practicable once the SIB's findings are known.


Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what means the policy for purchasing timber and timber products of (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies ensures that they are obtained from legal and sustainable sources. [141345]

Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence has addressed issues about timber through the introduction of a Defence Contract Condition (DEFCON Number 691) in August 2002. This Contract Condition has three main aims: to inform contractors of the Government policy to procure timber and products containing wood from

8 Dec 2003 : Column 277W

legal and sustainable sources; to introduce a contractual obligation to comply with that policy; and to ensure collection of data. The Contract Condition is used in appropriate contracts by the Department and is available for use by MOD agencies.

UK/Netherlands Amphibious Capability

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what costs he estimates will be incurred by the proposed development of a joint NATO and European amphibious capability; [142284]

Mr. Hoon: There is no proposal to develop a joint NATO and European amphibious capability, hence no additional costs are anticipated. Under the five-nation European Amphibious Initiative the amphibious forces of United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy work together on interoperability and doctrine, and co-ordinate training (which may be with NATO). National amphibious forces are used for NATO or EU crisis management operations only on the decision of the nations concerned. In the case of the UK/Netherlands Amphibious Force, the agreement of both countries is required. There are no plans for this to change.

8 Dec 2003 : Column 278W

Next Section Index Home Page