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Royal Navy

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving personnel there are in the Royal Navy; and what the corresponding figures were in each of the last three years. [197126]

Mr. Ingram: The strength of the Naval Service is published monthly in the Defence Analytical Services Agency publication TSP3, "UK Armed Forces Trained Strengths and Requirements", the last published edition of which was as at 1 September 2004.

As of 1 September 2004, the total strength of the Naval Service was 41,280. The corresponding figures for the previous years were:
Strength of naval service
1 September 200342,220
1 September 200242,060
1 September 200142,210

These figures are for full time UK regular forces (including both trained and untrained personnel) and full time reserve service personnel (FTRS) and exclude naval activated reservists. Naval Service includes Royal Marines.

Satanism

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the practice of Satanism in the armed services with the oath of allegiance sworn by service men and women. [197721]

Mr. Caplin: The armed forces make no provision for the practice of Satanism. The beliefs of Service personnel are regarded as a private matter.

Science and Technology Laboratory

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are employed by the Defence Scientific and Technology Laboratory for consulting the Defence Scientific Advisory Council and its subsidiary boards. [198929]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maintains a very close working relationship with the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC).

The Chief Executive of Dstl is a member of DSAC and each subsidiary board has a Dstl member of staff; the Dstl Technical Director is a member of the DSAC Technology sub board. Additionally, nominated members of Dstl staff are seconded to DSAC working groups which investigate and advise on various areas of
 
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the Ministry of Defence technical programme. The reports of the DSAC working groups are circulated to Dstl.

Members of DSAC attend Dstl technical programme reviews and advise on both the technical programme selection and progress.

Scientific Activities

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how his Department's chief scientific adviser has ensured that the Department's scientific activities are well directed, as recommended in paragraph 7.11 of the Government's science strategy, Investing in Innovation, published in July 2002. [162485]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Second World War Anniversary

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the application forms for local authorities to apply for funding for next year's Second World War celebrations will be available. [189101]

Mr. Caplin: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Select Committee Recommendations

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recommendations by parliamentary select committees have been adopted by his Department since June 2001. [197774]

Mr. Ingram: The recommendations set out in all relevant Select Committee reports are given very careful consideration by Defence Ministers and Ministry of Defence officials and we seek to implement them when we can. However the information requested by my hon. Friend is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Service Personnel (Royal Drivers)

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many servicemen and women act as drivers to members of the Royal Family; to which members; and from what source they receive remuneration for their service as drivers. [188565]

Mr. Caplin: I will write to my right hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Service Strengths

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) actual manning and (b) establishment levels of the (i) Royal Navy (excluding the Royal Marines), (ii) Army, (iii) Royal Air force and (iv) Royal Marines were on 31 March. [194955]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
 
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Ship Sales (Chile)

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussion there has been with the Chilean Government about the sale of HMS Norfolk, Marlborough and Grafton. [198559]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence's Disposal Sales Agency has had, and continues to have, exploratory discussions with the Government of Chile relating to the possible sale of three surplus Type 23 frigates, HMS Norfolk, HMS Marlborough and HMS Grafton.

Smallpox Vaccine

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many full, undiluted, tonnes of the smallpox vaccine his Department holds. [196305]

Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence holds a strategic stock of vaccine, jointly procured with the Department of Health. We hold sufficient doses to meet our operational requirements.

Special Advisers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many unpaid special advisers the Department has; what their names are; and which Government (a) bodies, (b) committees and (c) strategy groups each unpaid adviser (i) belongs to, (ii) advises and (iii) works alongside. [194058]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 28 October 2004, Official Report, column 1380W, by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office (Ruth Kelly).

Special Investigations Branch

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) UK and (b) overseas postings are of officers and soldiers of the Special Investigations Branch of the Royal Military Police. [176017]

Mr. Ingram: Officers and soldiers of the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch can routinely be posted to the following locations in the UK and overseas: Edinburgh, Catterick, York, Preston, Donnington, Chilwell, Chichester, Preston, Brecon, Colchester, Bulford, Aldershot, Hounslow, Stonehouse, Lisburn, Portadown, Ballykelly, Rheindahlen, Bielefeld, Gütersloh, Hohne, Osnabrück, Sennelager, Cyprus, Canada. In addition, RMP SIB detachments exist in operational theatre such as the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will break down the (a) UK and (b) overseas investigations undertaken in each of the past five years by the Special Investigations Branch by the nature of the incident under investigation. [176018]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the attendance of the Special Investigations Branch of the Royal Military Police at coroners' inquests into deaths it has investigated. [176019]


 
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Mr. Ingram: A member of the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch will appear as a witness at an inquest held by Her Majesty's Coroner if called upon to do so by the Coroner.

Statutory Sick Pay

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people employed in his Department have claimed statutory sick pay for (a) less than one week, (b) one to three weeks, (c) four to six weeks, (d) seven to 12 weeks, (e) 13 to 20 weeks and (f) 21 to 28 weeks in each year since 1997. [148636]

Mr. Caplin: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.


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