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24 Feb 2005 : Column 800W—continued

Mutual Defence Agreement

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Exchange of Information and Visits reports have been generated since 1975 as part of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement; and if he will place copies of them in the Library. [216678]

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Mr. Ingram: Since 1975, Exchanges of Information by Visit and Report have been raised in 34 subjects. Reports are being withheld in order not to prejudice international relations and to safeguard national security.

Official Residences

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the official residences for which his Department is responsible; who occupies each one; what the annual cost is of running each property; what contribution the occupants of each make towards running costs; what the total capital and refurbishment expenditure has been on those properties in each of the past five years; how much money was spent in each property on (a) flowers and plants, (b) wine and entertaining, (c) food, (d) telephone bills and (e) electricity and gas in 2003–04; how many (i) domestic and (ii) maintenance staff are employed at each property, broken down by post; and what the total cost of staff employment was in 2003–04. [213563]

Mr. Caplin: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 20 January 2005, Official Report, column 1037W. I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 November 2003, Official Report, column 1273W, to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight).

Service Accommodation

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will cause additional service married quarters accommodation to be built to house armed forces personnel of the same sex living together in partnerships. [218020]

Mr. Caplin: There should be no requirement to build new houses.

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects upon availability of accommodation in married quarters for service families of making them available to personnel of the armed forces of the same sex living together in partnership. [218022]

Mr. Caplin: It is not possible to identify the number of Service personnel who will elect to enter into a Civil Partnership. However, it is assessed that the numbers will be small and any associated requirement for married quarters would be absorbed within the existing housing management margin.

Service Medals

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2004, Official Report, column 1229W, on service medals, how many personnel who have served in operational theatres since 1997 and have fulfilled the awarding criteria for a medal have yet to receive the medal; how many service personnel who have fulfilled the criteria for long service medals have yet to receive the medal; how many personnel who have served in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Sierra Leone, (c) Iraq and (d) the Balkans (i) fulfil the criteria for, (ii) have received and (iii) have yet to
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receive the relevant campaign medal; and what the longest period is for which a serviceman has had to wait for a medal awarded for service since 1997. [216589]

Mr. Caplin: The information is not held in the format requested. However, all medals irrespective of type are normally engraved and despatched by the Department within two weeks of eligibility being established.

As at 4 February 2005 there were 4,815 personnel whose eligibility had been established, but had yet to receive their medal. Of these, 2,782 medals were waiting to be engraved, including 651 Iraq medals and 358 Canal Zone medals. The balance of 1,773 comprised all other awards including those for Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and long service medals.

In the remaining 2,033 cases, medals had been engraved and were awaiting despatch, but it is not possible to break these down by medal type.

Medals for service in the Balkans are NATO medals, which are normally issued by the NATO authorities in the operational theatre details. Figures relating to these medals are not held by the MOD.

Tornado GR4

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where he plans to house the additional service personnel who will provide depth support for the Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham; and at what estimated cost. [217195]

Mr. Ingram: The issue of accommodation was considered during the affordability analysis of the Investment Appraisal options. Further planning is now taking place to define the accommodation requirements at RAF Marham as progress is made in implementing the End to End programme.

Transport Aircraft

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the lift capability of the (a) A400M and (b) C-130 Hercules is. [216883]

Mr. Ingram: The A400M is contracted to deliver a load capability of 32 tonnes. The C-130 Hercules Mk 3 has a normal maximum load capability of 18 tonnes.



Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the total value in (a) monetary terms and (b) as a percentage of the country's total gross domestic product of (i) opium and heroin production in and (ii) opium and heroin exports from Afghanistan in each financial year since 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [216708]

Mr. Rammell: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducts an annual survey into the level of opium poppy cultivation and production in Afghanistan. Full details can be found on their website
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UNODC assesses that opium production and farm gate value of opiates in Afghanistan since 1999 is:
Production (tonnes)Farm gate value (US$)
19994,600183 million
20003,30091 million
200118556 million
20023,4001.2 billion
20033,6001.02 billion
20044,2000.6 billion

Since 2003 UNODC have also looked to assess the value of opiate exports from Afghanistan:
Total export value of opiates (US$ billion)Percentage of
licit GDP

The UK, as lead nation, is committed to supporting the Afghan Government in the implementation of their comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy. I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made on Afghanistan: Counter Narcotics on 29 November 2004, Official Report, columns 17–18WS.

Civil Servants

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the annual cost of the enhanced early retirement scheme for civil servants in his Department and its agencies, for each year from 1997–98 to 2003–04 and what the estimated cost will be in each year from 2004–05 to 2007–08; and if he will make a statement. [211596]

Mr. Alexander: The cost of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) enhanced early retirement schemes from 1997–98 to 2003–04 is shown in the table. Final figures for 2004–05 are not yet available. However, as a result of a recent trawl for volunteers to help meet the FCO's efficiency targets, we estimate the cost of the early retirement programme between 2004–05 and 2007–08 to be around £30 million.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 20 October 2004, from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford, transferred from the Home Office on 1 November 2004, Ref. M15507/4, concerning Mr. Christian Magnussen. [217808]

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Mr. Mullin: UKVisas, the Department responsible for entry clearance matters arising overseas, replied to the hon. Member on 16 December 2004.

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