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19 Jan 2004 : Column 917W—continued

Manning Control

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to carry out manning control point reviews within the next 15–18 months. [147889]

Mr. Caplin: There are currently no plans to conduct any Manning Control Point reviews in the next 15–18 months.

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Missile Defence Technology

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the amount spent by the Government on research into missile defence technology in each year since 1988; and if he will make a statement. [142196]

Mr. Hoon [holding reply 10 December 2003]: Expenditure by the United Kingdom Government on research specific to Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) technology began in 1994–96 when the Pre-feasibility Programme was undertaken. This examined options, costs and timescales of BMD for the UK and its deployed forces at a cost of £2 million in Financial Year 1994–95 and £2.5 million in Financial Year 1995–96. An extension was completed in Financial Year 1997–98 at a cost of £300,000.

As part of the Corporate Research programme, the Technology Readiness and Risk Assessment Programme (TRRAP) began in July 1998 following an SDR recommendation, focussing on BMD defence of deployed forces. TRRAP cost £2.2 million, £4.5 million, £5 million and £0.8 million in the Financial Years 1998–99 to 2001–02 respectively and completed in July 2001.

Alongside and following TRRAP, a programme of BMD studies ran from Financial Year 1998–99 to Financial Year 2002–03 at a cost of £0.5 million pa. In Financial Years 2001–02 and 2002–03 two further programmes examined the longer-range threat at a cost of £1.2 million per annum and assessed the significance of any capability gap at a cost of £0.6 million per annum.

In Financial Year 2001–02 research into theatre BMD building on TRRAP began at a recurring cost of £1 million per annum. Additionally in Financial Year 2003–04, £4 million will be expended on research through the Missile Defence Centre.

In summary, expenditure in the 10 successive Financial Years since 1994–95 is set in the table below:


FinancialYearPre-Feasability ProgrammeTRRAPLonger Range ThreatCapability Gap WorkBMD StudiesMissile Defence CentreTheatre BMDTotal

MOD Posts

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) service and (b) MOD civilian posts he estimates will be transferred to the private sector over the next three years from the (i) Royal Navy, (ii) Army and (iii) Royal Air Force. [148051]

Mr. Ingram: Officials are collating the information requested. I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Network-centric Capabilities

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 17 December 2003, Official Report, columns 944–45W, on network-centric capabilities, what effect he expects the change of emphasis towards network-centric capabilities will have on the numbers of employees within the United Kingdom armed forces. [148686]

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Mr. Hoon: At this stage, I have nothing further to add to the answer that I gave the hon. Member on 17 December 2003, Official Report, columns 944–45W.

Northern Ireland

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons troops in Northern Ireland have been advised to avoid wearing (a) badges and (b) clothing which would indicate their support for the (i) Glasgow Rangers and (ii) Glasgow Celtic football clubs; and what representations have been made to him on this issue. [148442]

Mr. Ingram: The Army's role in Northern Ireland is in support of the PSNI, which has taken steps to remove contentious emblems under the Patten reforms.

The MOD advises Service personnel in Northern Ireland that the wearing of emblems and clothing including contentious football tops, which could be misconstrued as offensive, should be avoided. This is good practice and complies with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland's Code of Practice which recommends that employers promote a good and harmonious working environment.

I am not aware of any representations on this issue.

Nuclear Submarines

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change the number of Astute-class nuclear attack submarines available to the Royal Navy. [144690]

Mr. Ingram: The Astute-Class of nuclear submarines will progressively supersede the existing Swiftsure and Trafalgar Classes through a phased replacement programme. At present, the Ministry of Defence has a contract with BAE Systems for the design and build of the first three Astute-Class submarines. Decisions on the acquisition of further Astute submarines will be taken in due course. The MOD routinely considers changes to the future Defence programme to ensure that capability levels meet our anticipated requirements.

Permanent Secretary (Engagements)

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates the Permanent Secretary discussed allegations concerning Robert Lee International and BAE Systems with the chairman of BAE Systems. [142411]

Mr. Ingram: The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence spoke to the Chairman of BAE Systems in May and June 2001 about allegations raised at the time concerning Robert Lee International. He also spoke to the Chairman of BAE Systems in September 2003, at the request of the Serious Fraud Office, in the light of the renewal of the allegations in the Press.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department's procurement decisions have been the subject of judicial review since 1997. [147958]

Mr. Ingram: None.

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RAF Bicester

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it remains his policy to (a) close and (b) dispose of the airfield at RAF Bicester. [147963]

Mr. Ingram: As I announced in my letter to the hon. Member on 29 August 2003, the site is due to be vacated by military users later this year. The site will be disposed of on completion of the planning process that will ultimately determine its future use.

Reinstatement Committees

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training members of employment tribunals receive to enable them to sit on reinstatement committees. [146179]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

The training of members of employment tribunals is a matter for the judiciary. The emphasis in training chairmen and lay members of employment tribunals is on the exercise of judicial skills—making findings of fact in accordance with the relevant legal principles and according parties a fair hearing. This applies whether dealing with the over 70 different jurisdictions covered by the employment tribunals or when constituted as a reinstatement committee.



Tom Brake: To ask the Prime Minister what (a) representations he has received from and (b) discussions he has had with Chechen President Akhmad Kadryov. [148931]

The Prime Minister: As far as I am aware, I have not received any representations from, or had any discussions with, President Akhmad Kadyrov.

Fatalities (Government Obligations)

Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister what obligations are recognised by the Government as arising in cases where a person has died from a heart attack as a result of duress or harsh treatment inflicted by an agent of the state. [148321]

The Prime Minister: Any such allegation would be investigated and appropriate action taken on the basis of that investigation.

Government Performance Audit

Mr. Jack: To ask the Prime Minister whether a copy of the audit report on the performance of his Government, to be published on 16 January, will be placed in the Library. [148808]

The Prime Minister: No. Information relating to internal advice and consultation is not disclosed under Exemption 2, Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

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