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26 Jan 2004 : Column 63W—continued


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a

26 Jan 2004 : Column 64W

statement on the accession of Taiwan to the World Health Organisation with full member status. [150636]

Mr. Rammell: There are difficulties over Taiwanese involvement in a UN forum where statehood is a prerequisite for full membership. We would consider with our EU partners any proposal for Taiwanese involvement in WHO which took account of these difficulties.

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Territorial Army

6. Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role is envisaged for the Territorial Army in the light of the war in Iraq. [150158]

Mr. Ingram: The Strategic Defence Review emphasised the need for the Territorial Army to be integrated, relevant and usable. It is an essential part of the current and future structure of the Army. Operations in Iraq have underlined the importance of their role, providing key capabilities and skills which complement those of their regular counterparts.

Afghanistan/Iraq (Withdrawal of Troops)

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the timetable for withdrawing British troops from (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq. [150160]

Mr. Hoon: We have no plans to withdraw British forces from Afghanistan, where they are helping to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement. With regard to Iraq, the joint United States—United Kingdom declaration of 20 November 2003 on Iraq says:

Our engagement in both Afghanistan and Iraq is driven by clear policy aims, not by arbitrary timetables for withdrawal.

Eurofighter Typhoon

20. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the unit cost is of each Eurofighter aircraft; when it is expected that it will be brought into service; and if he will make a statement. [150173]

Mr. Ingram: The Unit Production Cost of a Typhoon aircraft as published in Major Project Report 2003 is £56.8 million. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced in his written statement on 30 June 2003, Official Report, column 1WS, Eurofighter Typhoon achieved Type Acceptance on that day triggering the process of bringing the aircraft into service with the RAF. Two aircraft have been accepted off contract and RAF pilot training and operational evaluation activities have begun. Operational Employment is due to be achieved in the second half of the decade.

Procurement (British Manufacturing)

22. James Purnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on defence procurement policy and British manufacturing. [150175]

Mr. Ingram: It is the Government's policy to provide the armed forces with the capabilities which they require at the best value for money for the taxpayer. As the Defence Industrial Policy that my right hon. Friend launched with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in October 2002 makes clear, we take fully into

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account the benefit to the United Kingdom economy from defence expenditure, and we seek to encourage a healthy and globally competitive UK defence industry.


23. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the death of an Iraqi civilian during a demonstration policed by British troops at Al-Amarah. [150176]

Mr. Ingram: Members of the 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry deployed to a riot in Al Amarah on 10 January to assist the Iraqi Police. Two Iraqis were shot by UK forces, one of whom died. Both were preparing to throw grenades, having already thrown other grenades or explosive devices at UK vehicles, and were a threat to our forces and to local Iraqi civilians.

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists deployed on Operation Telic have resigned following the operation. [149349]

Mr. Caplin: As at 16 January 2004, 8,694 reservists had been mobilised to support Operation Telic. Of these, 118 had left the reserve forces. Not all departures can be linked directly to Operation Telic. The reasons for leaving include having reached end of engagement, medical discharges, retirement and enlistment into another Service.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many individuals being held by UK forces in Iraq have died in custody; and if he will make a statement. [148578]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 January 2003, Official Report, column 1123W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Mr. Cohen).

Alcohol Consumption

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was in the last year for which figures are available of alcoholic beverages bought and consumed on military barracks in (a) the UK and (b) overseas. [149727]

Mr. Caplin: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in the last year in respect of the training of aircrew for the WAH-64 Apache. [148956]

Mr. Ingram: WAH-64 Apache aircrew training has been proceeding to plan since January 2002 and we are on target to complete the first Conversion to Type course in March this year.

Atlantic Crusader

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Answer of 14 January 2004,

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Official Report, column 763W, on the Atlantic Crusader, under what flag the ship is sailing; for what purpose his Department has commissioned the vessel; and for how long the charter is. [149964]

Mr. Ingram: The Atlantic Crusader is sailing under the Cypriot flag and as I said in the answer I gave the hon. Member on 14 January 2004, Official Report, column 763W, is currently returning from a re-supply voyage to the Falkland Islands. She will then make a second return voyage to the Falklands and is due to complete her charter on 7 April 2004.

Depleted Uranium

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Challenger 2 smoothbore tank gun demonstrator project will consider measures to end the use of depleted uranium ammunition. [149647]

Mr. Ingram: The 120mm smoothbore gun Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) aims to provide information on the application of a 120mm smoothbore gun technology to existing and future direct fire platforms, including Challenger 2.

Part of the TDP involves the investigation of non-Depleted Uranium (DU) 120mm smoothbore ammunition. This option may then be compared with the United Kingdom's existing ammunition in order to determine the optimum means of maintaining the UK's direct fire main armament capability.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are assigned to (a) theatres of conflict and (b) peacekeeping duties, broken down by country or region involved. [150024]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 22 January 2004]:There are approximately 12,000 British Service personnel deployed outside the United Kingdom to theatres of conflict and peace-keeping duties:

Iraq/The Gulf9,800
The Balkans (Kosovo and Bosnia)1,400
UN Peace-keeping operations:

The figures exclude Service personnel onboard ships and MOD civilian personnel deployed to these locations in support of these operations.

Far East Prisoners

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in relation to the compensation scheme for civilian prisoners of the Japanese, how many claims (a) have been received, (b) have been paid, (c) have been refused and (d) are outstanding; in relation to (b), how many were (i) not resident in the UK and (ii) not UK citizens but citizens of other Commonwealth countries at the time (A) of payment and (B) of retention; and in relation to (c), how many claimed

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before 25 June 2001; how many were resident in the UK; and how many of each category were rejected on the grounds they could not show a parent or grandparent born in the UK. [149575]

Mr. Caplin: As of 16 January 2004, 2,922 claims for ex gratia payments have been received from former civilian internees, of which 1,882 have been successful; 1,032 have been unsuccessful, of which 851 were received before 25 June 2001; and eight remain to be dealt with. These figures do not include claims from the surviving spouses of former civilian internees, as these figures are not kept separately from the total of claims from the surviving spouses of all the groups covered by the scheme.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Kircaldy (Dr. Moonie) advised in his answer of 28 April 2003, Official Report, column 52W, at that time approximately 800 claims from former civilian internees, including surviving spouses with addresses abroad, were rejected on the blood link criterion, while approximately 300 claims from civilians, including spouses, with United Kingdom addresses were rejected on the blood link criterion. We do not have the other figures sought because the details necessary to produce them were either not required or sought from claimants, or not collated as part of the process of verification of claims.

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