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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many cases have been brought against his Department under the Human Rights Act 1998; and what has been the cost in (a) legal fees to defend cases and (b) compensation payments. 
Mr. Ingram: In line with policy and practice in other Government Departments, the Ministry of Defence does not record separately those cases brought against the Department raising issues under the Human Rights Act 1998. Human rights are now integrated in the general law and are rarely the sole basis for a challenge.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list (a) the average flying hours lost
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per month at airbases in (i) England, (ii) Wales and (iii) Scotland and (b) the flying hours per month lost due to bad weather at (A) RAF Waddington, (B) RAF Lyneham and (C) RAF Brize Norton in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
The Ministry of Defence does not hold records of flying hours lost owing to bad weather. The following table presents the total number of lost flying hours by month since January 2001 at RAF Waddington, RAF Lyneham and RAF Brize Norton when conditions were assessed as red. Red conditions are defined as when visibility is less than 800 metres or the cloud base is less than 200 ft above ground level. In these conditions, flying is unlikely to take place. Other weather conditions, for example high winds and turbulence, might also preclude flying but their incidence is not recorded.
|RAF Waddington||RAF Lyneham||RAF Brize Norton|
|Month||Red Conditions (Hours)||Month||Red Conditions (Hours)||Month||Red Conditions (Hours)|
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the ability of the successful contractor to meet deadlines for the supply of Red Reflection clothing and other camouflage combat garments. 
Mr. Ingram: Delivery of combat clothing items is not due to commence until early next year. The contractor is on target to meet the required delivery dates and to deliver items to specification, which includes meeting the required Infra Red Reflective standard.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is his policy that the Home Service part-time officers and soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment are deemed to be casual workers for the purposes of pension provision; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Home Service part-time soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment have been charged since 1 July 2000 under section 69(a) of the Army Act 1955 for failure to attend a duty; and what punishments were awarded in each case. 
[holding answer 29 November 2004]: It would not be possible to ascertain whether soldiers were charged for failure to attend duties under section 69(a) of the Army Act 1955 except at disproportionate cost but failing to attend a duty would normally be dealt with under section 29A(a) and not 69(a) of the Army Act 1955.
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Figures are only available from 1 October 2000 onwards but from that date until the 19 November 2004 eleven Part-Time members of the Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment were dealt with summarily under section 29A(a) for failing to attend a duty.
Mr. Ingram: The current suppliers of runway de-icing chemicals are Verdugt BV from Tiel in the Netherlands who supply de-icer and Univar Ltd. of Middlesbrough who supply icing preventer. The combined value of these enabling contracts is approximately £1.5 million pounds per annum.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether shortages have been experienced in runway de-icing chemicals for RAF and other service airfields; and if he will make a statement. 
There are no shortages of runway de-icing chemicals for RAF or other Service airfields. In February this year the current supplier of runway de-icing chemicals to the Ministry of Defence was unable to meet the required delivery date for a demand from an RAF airfield. The demand was satisfied by an alternative supplier.
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Mr. Ingram: As set out in the recently published National Audit Office Report on Major Defence Projects (HC11591 session 200304 dated 10 November), the latest cost to the United Kingdom of the Eurofighter Typhoon programme is £2,343 million above the original estimate which was produced in 1987 before development began.
Mr. Ingram: Uniform items, such as berets and Norwegian Shirts, have previously been made in China and issued to service personnel. In terms of the recent contract award for cut and sewn items to Cooneen Watts and Stone Ltd, the uniform element of the contract is not due to commence delivery until early 2005. No uniform procured under this contract have therefore yet been issued to Service personnel.
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