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10 Dec 2003 : Column 460Wcontinued
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the National Assembly for Wales to ensure Wales plays its part in meeting the commitment to the EU Landfill Directive target of 25 per cent. of 1995 levels by 2010. 
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Mr. Touhig : My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with Assembly Secretaries about matters affecting Wales. In June 2002, the Assembly published a comprehensive national waste strategy for Wales: "Wise about Waste". It contains challenging targets for local authorities to increase their recycling and composting of municipal waste to 40 per cent. by 2010. The Assembly has also issued guidance to local authorities to assist the development of their own municipal waste management strategies. There has been some early and encouraging progress showing significant increases in recycling and composting: for example eight authorities have reported achieving the initial 15 per cent. target for 200304 by 200203.
Office for National Statistics, regional accounts
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Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with his colleagues in the National Assembly for Wales Government on the organisation of events to commemorate Owain Glyndwr in 2004. 
Mr. Hain: I recently met Brigadier Iain Cholerton prior to him taking up his new post as commander of the senior royal regiment of Wales. I also met with his predecessor. We discussed the possibility of a visit in the near future.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who determines the (a) prices, (b) specifications and (c) standards of the items set out in the Al Yamamah contract; and by what procedures prices, specifications and standards are revised. 
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Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what liaison he has had since 3 November with the Serious Fraud Office on the allegations made by Mr. Edward Cunningham relating to the Al Yamamah programme. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many bearskins the Army has purchased in each of the last five years; and whether these bears are (a) killed in the wild and (b) farmed for their skins. 
|Calendar year||Caps procured|
The pelts used in the manufacture of bearskin caps are purchased through a licensed agent and imported under licence from Canada. We understand from manufacturers that the pelts are supplied from bears hunted as part of the quotas established under the Canadian Provinces' conservation plans.
One bear pelt can make on average between one and two caps. A cap refurbishment programme has been in place since 2001 with the aim of reducing the requirement for new caps to a minimum. A total of 430 caps have been refurbished since this programme began.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role Ministry of Defence Police officers have had in the reopened police investigation of deaths at Deepcut barracks; and how many potential witnesses were canvassed and interviewed by military personnel in the investigations into the deaths of (a) Mr. Sean Benton, (b) Cheryl James, (c) Mr. Geoff Gray and (d) Mr. James Collinson. 
Mr. Ingram: In response to a request from Surrey Police, two Ministry of Defence Police Detective Constables were seconded to the Surrey Police team for the duration of their investigation into the Deepcut deaths. During the secondment the two officers have been at all times under the full operational control of that Force. The details of the investigations are matters for the Surrey Police.
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programmes are included in the administration and sales promotion expenses of the Defence Export Services Organisation staff in the central Top Level Budget. 
Mr. Ingram: The costs and offsetting receipts of government-to-government defence export programmes are included in the Administration and Sales Promotion expenses of the Defence Export Services Organisation staff in the Central Top Level Budget. Details of these expenses are published in Table 11 (Export of Defence Equipment) of Cmd 5912, the Government's Expenditure Plans (Ministry of Defence) 200304 to 200506.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the contracts will be awarded for the second tranche of the Eurofighter project; how much the contracts will be for; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay. 
Mr. Ingram: Intense work is under way involving our partner nations and industry to enable contracts for the second tranche of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to be placed as soon as possible. The cost to the United Kingdom is expected to be of the order of £5,000 million. Under the original schedule, the contracts had been due to be placed during 2003 but the programme, including the delivery of Tranche 1 aircraft, has been subject to delay. We are determined to ensure that Industry's proposals for Tranche 2 are soundly based to deliver capability to a schedule against which the Royal Air Force can plan with confidence.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the planned interchangeability of weapons between the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft ordered by the four partner nations. 
Mr. Ingram: It will be physically possible to fit and operate any weapon that has been integrated with Typhoon on any nation's Typhoon aircraft, although not all nations would necessarily have the airworthiness clearance and training to use any weapons. There are currently no plans for one nation to use weapons bought by another.
Mr. Ingram: We currently have no requirement for Typhoon to be armed with a gun. For overall armament safety there is a Remote Position Indicator for the Master Armament Safety Switch (MASS), which removes power from all the armament systems on the aircraft, and confirms to the groundcrew, before they approach the aircraft, that the MASS has been set to safe.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the speed limitations caused by the external carriage of weapons on the Eurofighter Typhoon; and whether the merits of an internal weapons bay in this respect have been assessed. 
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Mr. Ingram: Assessments have been carried out to determine the flight limitations necessitated by the thermal effects of high-speed carriage of weapons on the Eurofighter Typhoon. The merits of an internal weapons bay were assessed during the early design phase of the aircraft. However, this arrangement was rejected because the aircraft was designed primarily for the air superiority role where the rapid availability of weapons mounted on external pylons offers greater operational advantage.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the weapons suspension points on the RAF's operational Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft will be compatible with Military Standard 1760; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a competition process is intended between bidders for a mid-life update to the RAF's Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Typhoon's incremental acquisition strategy means that enhancements to the aircraft's capabilities will be incorporated progressively after its initial entry into service. It is too early in the Typhoon programme to consider whether a formal mid-life update for the aircraft might be needed or how it might best be achieved.
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