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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent support his Department has given to charities which provide veterinary support to working animals in (a) Darfur and (b) other areas. 
Hilary Benn: DFID recognises the important role of livestock as a key livelihood asset. Preventing ill health and the death of working animals is as critical as provision of new ones.
In Darfur, DFID support includes £1 million to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), whose priority is to provide veterinarian support for donkeys and livestock. This includes the provision of feed and health care to 14,000 donkeys, 90,000 small ruminants, and 180,000 chickens both in camps and outside. In addition the programme includes provision for the training of community animal health monitors.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials working in ministerial private offices in the Department have worked more than a 48 hour week at any time in the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many of those had signed a waiver under working time regulations; and what percentage these figures represented of the total in each case. 
The Working Time Regulations provide workers with the protection of a limit of an average of 48 hours a week working time. This is not an absolute
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cap of 48 hours in any one week. This average is normally calculated over a 17-week reference period, although this can be longer in certain situations (26 weeks) and can be extended by agreement (up to 52 weeks). Workers may choose to work more than 48 hours per week over this reference period by signing an opt-out agreement, but employers cannot force a worker to sign an opt-out, and workers cannot be subjected to detriment for refusing to sign an opt-out.
No QFID Ministerial Private Office staff have signed an opt-out agreement. DFID is committed to maintaining and improving the work-life balance of all its staff, including those in Ministerial offices.
Seven staff in DFID Ministerial Private Offices have worked more than a 48 hour week on at least one occasion in the last twelve months for which figures are available. This represents approximately 40 per cent. of the total staff in DFID Ministerial offices.
14. Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Department is taking to tackle homelessness among ex-service personnel. 
Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence has been working closely with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, other Government Departments, veterans' organisations and other service providers to put in place a coordinated and structured approach to tackle homelessness among a small minority of ex-Service personnel. Our aim is both to prevent new Service leavers becoming homeless as well as to provide an effective safety net for existing vulnerable and homeless ex-Service personnel.
15. Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future deployment of the proposed Yorkshire Regiment. 
Mr. Hoon: The three battalions that will form the Yorkshire Regiment by 2008 are 1 Green Howards, 1 Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire, and 1 Duke of Wellington's Regiment. The Duke of Wellington's Regiment is currently serving in Iraq, a deployment that is expected to last until May 2005. The Green Howards are planned to deploy to Bosnia in 2006. The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment is currently training in Catterick with 19 Brigade, and in 2006 it will be allocated on standby to the NATO Reaction Force.
16. John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recent progress in taking forward his plans for the Scottish regiments. 
As I announced to the House on 16 December, we plan to reduce by one the number of battalions in the Scottish Division. This will be achieved by merging the First Battalions of the Royal Scots and
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the King's Own Scottish Borderers. This new battalion, together with the other four regular battalions, will form a new large regiment, known as the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
17. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with senior officers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers on the future of the regiment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The process of re-structuring the infantry has been worked through by the Army, consulting with the divisions and regiments concerned.
The outcome of the Army's deliberations which I announced on 16 December, is that a new large infantry regiment will be formed to be known as The Royal Welsh. It will consist of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers) and 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Regiment of Wales).
18. Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on compensation for those interned in the Far East. 
Mr. Caplin: In November 2000, the Government instituted the scheme to make ex-gratia payments of £10,000 each to members of certain groups held captive by the Japanese during the second world war. Among those covered by the scheme are civilian internees who were British subjects and had a close connection with the United Kingdom at the time of their captivity. By 5 January this year 23,949 payments had been made to those held captive or their surviving spouses. These include 2,325 payments to former civilian internees themselves.
19. Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Department has taken to implement the Defence Industrial Policy. 
Mr. Ingram: The principles set out in the Government's Defence Industrial Policy apply to all acquisition decisions and we continue to work closely with industry to deliver the maximum benefits from its implementation. In particular we have made progress in areas such as market access, cooperation with our allies, maximising the benefits from our investment in research and technology and making improvements to our acquisition and capability management processes. In developing the Defence Industrial Strategy we are undertaking work to identify in more detail the technical capabilities that are likely to be needed to meet defence needs in the future and to assess the importance of sustaining them in the UK for national security, technology or wider economic reasons. We will publish a review shortly of the implementation of our Policy which will set this out in more detail.
22. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will rename the King's, Lancashire and Border Regiment the Royal Lancashire Regiment. 
Mr. Hoon: The process of restructuring the infantry has been worked through by the Army consulting with the divisions and regiments concerned. As part of this process those infantry divisions affected by the changes were asked to suggest options for new regimental titles. Of the options put forward by the King's Division, the proposed title of the 'King's, Lancashire and Border Regiment', was felt by the Army Board to best reflect all the antecedent regiments from which it will be drawn.
23 Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the armed forces have played in the reconstruction of Iraq. 
Mr. Hoon: I refer my hon. and learned Friend to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon Friend, the Member for the City of York (Hugh Bayley).
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the military situation in Iraq. 
Mr. Hoon: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave today to the right hon. Member for Bracknell (Mr. Mackay).
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