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17 Dec 2003 : Column 943W—continued

Depleted Uranium

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent assessment he has made of the possible effects of depleted uranium exposure on service men and women; and if he will make a statement; [144107]

Mr. Caplin: The scientific literature suggests there are no side effects uniquely associated with exposure to Depleted Uranium.

The Ministry of Defence's Biological Monitoring Policy ( uranium/du biomonitoring. htm) is to offer a urine test for uranium to all UK service and civilian personnel on current and future operations where DU has been used. This includes an isotope test

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(which tests for the presence of DU) for those who may have had high exposures. Other tests will be carried out if clinically indicated.

Former service personnel are being offered a voluntary DU test under the auspices of the independent Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB). The first tests should begin in early 2004. If DUOB tests reveal detectable DU in the urine, follow-on epidemiological studies will be carried out. Depending on the outcome of these studies, further research may be commissioned.


Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British personnel (a) serving and (b) having served in Iraq in 2003 have contracted Leishmaniasis. [144129]

Mr. Caplin: At present, there has been one confirmed case, and twelve suspected cases, of Leishmaniasis among Service personnel who have served in Iraq in 2003.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the menu is for soldiers serving in Iraq on Christmas Day; and if he will make a statement. [144469]

Mr. Ingram: United Kingdom Armed Forces personnel serving in Iraq will, wherever possible, be offered a turkey dinner or a vegetarian option.

Military Personnel (Psychiatric Treatment)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel have been treated for mental health problems at the Duchess of Kent Hospital at Catterick in each of the last six years. [144153]

Mr. Caplin: The following table represents the total number of Service personnel, both in-patients and out-patients, treated for mental health problems at the Duchess of Kent Psychiatric Hospital (DKPH) January 1997-March 2003.

Year (January-December except where noted)Number of military personnel treated at DKPH
1997 (January-February)91
1997–98 (April to March)581
1998 (April-December)351
2003 (January to March figures only available)101

Figures are not available for March 1997.

Network-centric Capabilities

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect he estimates the proposed change of emphasis from frontline platform strength to network-centric capabilities will have on the number of employees within the United Kingdom armed forces. [144689]

Mr. Hoon: As I said in my statement of 11 December (Official Report, 11 December 2003, column 1211), the Ministry of Defence is currently undertaking work to develop the details of the individual systems and

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structures appropriate for the policy context as set out in the Defence White Paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World. I shall make further announcements on the results of that work next year.

Nuclear Weapons

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the United States Administration has provided the United Kingdom with information, with particular reference to information on experiments, on the development of low-yield earth-penetrating nuclear weapons under the provisions of the 1959 Amendment to the 1958 United States-United Kingdom Mutual Defence Agreement on atomic energy matters. [143508]

Mr. Hoon: No.

Priory Group

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether service personnel will be working at the Priory Group's facilities for the treatment of service personnel; and what special provision will be made for military casualties. [144133]

Mr. Caplin: The majority of psychiatric referrals will be dealt with by the 16 Defence Community Mental Health (DCMH) teams that are located across the UK. The small number of patients requiring in-patient care will be dealt with by The Priory Group's staff. Each DCMH will make special provisions for Service personnel at the Priory by supplying a trained

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psychiatric nurse to act as a Service Liaison Officer who will work with The Priory Group on a daily basis and will be on hand to deal with any problems military personnel may encounter. It is anticipated that military casualties will be treated within this system.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies bid for the contract to run in-patient psychiatric services for his Department; and for what reasons the contract was awarded to the Priory Group. [144134]

Mr. Caplin: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 December 2003, Official Report, column 571W, to the hon. Member for Mid-Norfolk (Mr. Simpson).

Reserve (Scotland)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the reserve units based in Scotland, (b) their headquarters' location and (c) current strength; what the (i) date and (ii) location of their last deployment was; and if he will make a statement. [144000]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 15 December 2003]: Since the reorganisation of the Reserve Forces under the Strategic Defence Review no Scottish based reserve units have been deployed on operations. However, sub-units, composite units and individual reservists from units based in Scotland have been deployed to support operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. The location and strength of Scottish reserve units is set out in the following table:

UnitStrengthHQ address
Royal Navy Reserve (RNR)
HMS Scotia227Director Naval Reserves, South Terrace, Portsmouth Naval Base, PO1 3LS
HMS Dalriada137Director Naval Reserves, South Terrace, Portsmouth Naval Base, PO1 3LS
Royal Marine Reserve (RMR)
RMR Scotland153Director Royal Marines Reserves, Whale Island, Portsmouth, PO2 8DX
Territorial Army (TA)
Royal Artillery (RA)
105 Regt RA (V)415Artillery House, 301 Colinton Road, Colinton, Edinburgh, EH13 OLA
Royal Engineers (RE)
71 Engr Regt RE (V)383RAF Leuchars, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 OLX
Royal Signals (R SIGS)
2 Sig Sqn (V)63TAC Newman House, Mid Craigie Road, Dundee, DD4 7RH
32 Sig Regt (V)35621 Jardine Street, Glasgow, G20 6JT
Infantry (INF)
51 Highland Regt591Queens Barracks, 131 Dunkeld Road, Perth, PH1 5BT
52 Lowland Regt442Walcheren Barracks, 122 Hotspur Street, Glasgow, G20 8LQ
Royal Logistic Corps (RLC)
Scottish Tpt Regt RLC (V)546Bothwell House, Elgin Street, Dunfirmline, Fife, KY12 7SB
Army Medical Services (AMS)
225 Fd Amb (V)131Block 5, Oliver Barracks, Dalkeith Road, Dundee, DD4 7DL
205 Fd Hosp (V)256Graham House, 130 Whitefield Road, Glasgow, G51 2YE
Adjutant Generals Corp (Royal Military Police) (AGC(RMP))
243 Pro Coy (V)52 TAC Beveridge Square, Livingston, EH54 6QF
Intelligence Corps (INT)
23 MI Coy (V)51TAC, 124 McDonald Road, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH174NQ
University Officer Training Corps (UOTC)
Aberdeen178Roy Strathdee Building, 152 Don Street, Old Aberdeen, AB2 1XQ
Edinburgh268Duke of Edinburgh House, 301 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH 13 OLA
Glasgow and Strathclyde19895 University Place, Glasgow, G12 8SU
Tayforth264TAC, 16 Park Wynd, Dundee, DD1 5HG
Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF)
No 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn11825 Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh, EH4 1NZ
No 612 (County of Aberdeen) Sqn56RAF Leuchars, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 OJX
RAuxAF Regt
No 2622 (Highland) Sqn118RAF Lossiemouth, Elgin, Morayshire, IV31 6SD

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School Places

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Answer of 3 December 2003, Official Report, column 68W, on school places, in what format his Department holds information on the proportion of funding spent by his Department on school places for service personnel which was spent on the independent sector in each year since 1996; and if he will publish that information. [143871]

Mr. Caplin: Expenditure data on Service Education Allowances is only accessible for named individuals. While it is possible to identify what has been spent on any named individual it is not possible to capture cumulative data totals electronically. Manual capture of this data could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Even if this total data were produced it would not identify the proportion spent in the independent sector schools as the same allowance rates are paid irrespective of the type of school and hence independent sector spend could not be isolated.

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