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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1108W—continued

Departmental Finances

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which public corporations his Department received a receipt from a dividend payment or equity withdrawal in financial years 1997–98 to 2003–04; what the value of each receipt was; and whether receipts were (a) appropriated in aid of his Department and (b) surrendered to the Consolidated Fund. [217991]

Mr. Ingram: Dividends and equity withdrawals for public corporations for the years commencing
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1999–2000 are shown below. For the purposes of the response, Trading Funds are regarded as public corporations for budgeting purposes by HM Treasury and are therefore included.
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The required information in respect of years 1997–98 and 1998–99 is included in the Appropriation Accounts for the respective years. These accounts have been placed in the Library of House.

Appropriations in Aid Trading Funds:
Defence Research and Evaluation Agency (DERA)25,0005,000
The UK Hydrographic Office2,1442,4312,5872,902
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)6,0006,000
Surrendered to the Consolidated Fund Trading Funds:
The UK Hydrographic Office1,794
Equity withdrawal (including loan repayments)
Appropriations-in-Aid Repayment of loans made to Trading Funds:
The UK Hydrographic Office219237258279303
Met Office8,03210,936
Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA)7,1152,1157,240
Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO)5,15514,155
Surrendered to the Consolidated Fund Public Corporation:
QinetiQ—loan repayment50,00049,9004,214
QinetiQ—proceeds received on sale of equity39,427

End-to-end Logistics

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written statement of 10 March 2005, Official Report, column 120WS, on end-to-end logistics, if he will give details of the redundancies listed in the other changes category. [223517]

Mr. Ingram: The written ministerial statement on 10 March listed the estimated reductions in the number of posts at a number of RAF Stations as a result of the application of end-to-end logistic principles. It did not offer any redundancy estimates, since the reduction in the number of posts will be managed primarily through voluntary staff transfers, natural wastage and a voluntary release scheme.

First World War Medals

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost of keeping the first world war medal index cards is; and if he will make a statement. [223558]

Mr. Caplin: It is estimated that the cost to the Ministry of Defence of continuing to store these records is in the order of £1,000 per month.

Gibraltar Services Police

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the statutory basis is for the Gibraltar Services Police; and if he will make a statement. [223350]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 24 March 2005]: The Gibraltar Services Police is a statutory police force established under the Police Ordinance (Laws of Gibraltar) Section 51(1)(2).


Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Gurkhas in the UK armed forces are aged (a) 16 and (b) 17 years old. [222169]

Mr. Caplin: As at 1 February 2005 there are no soldiers aged 16 or 17 years of age serving in the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Infantry Manning

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will publish the recent reports of the Director of Infantry's study for the Army Board on Infantry Manning; [208324]

(2) if he will publish all recent papers for the Executive Committee of the Army Board. [208325]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 January 2005]: I am withholding the documents in question since releasing the papers would prejudice the effective formulation of government policy, on the basis that it would discourage the consideration of the full range of options thereby interfering with the effective conduct of business.

In arriving at this judgment, I have weighed carefully the public interest in disclosure against the harm that Iassess would result from doing so. I have also taken into account the full description of the Government's decisions which have already been provided to Parliament.

However, I am making an exception with the statistical information about manning levels which informed ECAB's consideration of how the reduction by four battalions should be effected. Copies of this will be placed in the Library of the House.
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Multi-national Exercises

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans the Royal Navy has to participate in multi-national military exercises in the next five years. [223276]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy is planning to participate in 35 multi-national exercises in 2005–06 and a large number of lower level tactical engagements with coalition partners. In 2006–07 the number of planned exercises stands at nine though this is likely to increase as planning progresses. Tactical engagements will continue at around the same level.

National Defence Industries Council

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the members of the National Defence Industries Council; and who the employer is in each case. [223512]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 22 March 2005]: We are in the process of reviewing the Terms of Reference and membership of the National Defence Industries Council (NDIC) in consultation with the Defence Industries Council. John Wall (Amicus) accepted the Secretary of State's invitation to join the NDIC and represent the Trade Unions. The current membership of the NDIC is:



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