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Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he expects the UK contribution to the European Rapid Reaction Force to be future rapid effect system equipped when that vehicle family enters service. 
Mr. Ingram: There is no standing European Rapid Reaction Force nor any EU agreement to create one. What has sometimes been referred to as a European Rapid Reaction Force" is, in fact, a catalogue of forces which member states could make available to the EU should they choose to participate in a particular EU-led operation. Any contribution to a particular EU-led operation would depend on the operation's requirements and the availability of forces at the time.
One of the purposes of FRES is to improve the ability of United Kingdom forces to achieve rapid effect by providing a highly capable but rapidly deployable family of vehicles as the central pillar of the Medium Weight Force. Therefore, it is likely that the UK may, in the future, offer FRES equipped forces as part of the EU catalogue".
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions in (a) the joint negotiating machinery between his Department and the Gibraltar Service Police Association and (b) other forum his Department formally raised its intention to deduct moneys from police officers' pay in relation to rent and other allowances; and if he will place a copy of the minutes relating to such discussions in the Library. 
Mr. Caplin [holding answer 20 January 2005]: Officials in Gibraltar wrote to the Chairman of the GSPSA in February 2004 setting out in detail the rationale of the Department's position and explaining that recovery action would only be taken for the last 12 months overpayment. The subject was discussed again at the GSPSA Whitley meeting in May 2004. In June 2004 Officials wrote to each individual affected by the overpayment explaining that recovery action would be taken. A subsequent letter was sent in November 2004 as a result of a recalculation, reconfirming the intent to deduct monies owed. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 20 October 2004, Official Report, column 711W, whereby a copy of the minutes of the GSPSA Whitley Committee meetings were placed in the Library of the House.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place a moratorium on the deduction of Gibraltar Service Police salaries until discussions between the Gibraltar Service Police Association and the Association's solicitor have been concluded; and if he will make a statement. 
In respect of the free postal packet scheme to Iraq which ceased on 8 April 2004, there are no plans to permanently re-instate this service. I refer my hon. Friend to my written ministerial statement of 27 February 2004, Official Report, column 70WS, and subsequent answers of 5 March 2004, Official Report, column 1155W, to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock), 1 April 2004, Official Report, column 1605W, to the hon. Member for Mid-Norfolk (Mr. Simpson), 5 May 2004, Official Report, column1527W, to the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr.Randall), 15 June 2004, Official Report, column 811W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley (Mr. Pike), 1 September 2004, Official Report, column 713W and 4 October 2004, Official Report, column 1882W to my hon. Friend the Member for Bately and Spen (Mr. Wood).
However, on 3 November 2004 when the Prime Minister announced the temporary reinstatement of the free postal packet scheme for a limited period at Christmas, he did promise a review after the scheme finished (15 December 2004), 3 November 2004, Official Report, column 304.
A formal review cannot be carried out until the detailed costs of the scheme have been captured from the Royal Mail Group, Defence Logistic Agency and British Forces Post Office. This is unlikely to happen before February 2005. However, I can inform the House that over the period 17 November-15 December 2004
25 Jan 2005 : Column 244W
when the scheme was in place approximately 112,000 Kg of packets were successfully processed by the British Forces Post Office Depot at Mill Hill so that they would reach service personnel deployed worldwide in time for Christmas.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK service men have been repatriated from service in Iraq since 1 October 2004 because of injury, broken down by type of injury suffered. 
Mr. Caplin [holding answer 24 January 2005]: Since 1 October 2004, 82 United Kingdom Service personnel have been evacuated from Iraq as a result of injury. 23 of those injuries are believed to be the result of hostile action. 59 are the result of accidents or other incidents.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 January 2005]: The 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) will, once operational, be used to relieve acclimatised theatre troops from static guarding and security tasks at a variety of locations.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions he has visited (a) The Black Watch, (b) The Royal Scots, (c) The Highlanders, (d) The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, (e) The King's Own Scottish Borderers and (f) The Royal Highland Fusiliers regiments; and where each visit took place. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what target his Department sets for the maximum acceptable time to respond in full to a parliamentary question; and what percentage of answers given by his Department failed to meet this target in each parliamentary session from 199798 to 200304. 
Mr. Caplin: Defence Ministers aim to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their named day question on the day named and endeavour to answer ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. Unfortunately this is not always possible, but the Department makes every effort to achieve these timescales.
Information relating to the percentage of answers that failed to meet this target in each parliamentary session from 199798 to 200304 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans the Government have to commemorate on 10 July the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caplin: The events in London on 10 July will begin with a Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration in Westminster Abbey. This will be followed by a lunch for veterans in the grounds of Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
In the afternoon, an event of reminiscence and remembrance will take place on Horse Guards Parade, this will begin with a unique evocation of the period, using entertainment to take veterans back in time. There will then be a period of remembrance encompassing a two minute silence.
Mr. Caplin: The use of non-geographical 0870 numbers in the Department is determined at the local level in accordance with individual business requirements. Records of non-geographic 0870 numbers and details of services accessed through them are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Defencehow much revenue his Department has received from the use of non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers for the period 1 October 2003 to 30 September 2004. 
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