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Mr. Touhig: Primacy of jurisdiction for the investigation into sudden deaths in the UK rests with the appropriate civilian police force. The investigation into the death of Private Matthew Bevan is a matter for the Surrey police.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total strength is of the Territorial Army; how many members of the Territorial Army (a) collected their bounty and (b) voluntarily left the service in each month since April 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: As at 1 September 2005, the strength of the Territorial Army (TA) was some 35,500 personnel, including those currently mobilised and deployed but excluding those who are undertaking full-time reserve service. Some 23,550 TA personnel collected their bounty in the financial year 200405. The following table details the numbers of TA personnel who have voluntarily left the service in each month since April 2003.
|Month||Total number of TA Voluntary leavers|
|Planned strength||Actual strength|
Mr. Touhig: The Veterans Agency is responsible for deciding claims under the Ex-Gratia Payment Scheme for Former Far East Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees. Mr. Peter Hall's claim was rejected because he was unable to show that he met the necessary birthlink criterion, which requires former civilian internees who were British at the time of internment to have been born, or have had a parent or grandparent born, in the UK.
However, on 7 July 2005, considering the application for judicial review brought by Mrs. Diana Elias, the High Court found that the birth link criterion had resulted in unlawful indirect racial discrimination. After careful consideration, the Ministry of Defence decided to appeal against that decision to the Court of Appeal. Until these legal proceedings have been concluded, that part of the scheme relating to civilian internees has been suspended.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions since 1997 Ministers from his Department have (a) authorised parliamentary counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct parliamentary counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely change in demand on the British Forces Post Office during the Christmas period; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The British Forces Post Office has planned for a surge in demand over the Christmas period based on the experience of previous years and taking into account the number of service personnel deployed on operations.
Mr. Ingram: The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) is a Defence Agency. It presented its Annual Report and Accounts for 20042005 to Parliament before the summer recess, and a copy is held in the Library of the House. The Annual Report articulated BFPO's performance for 200405, measured against six Key Target areas, sub-divided into 16 performance indicators. The BFPO met the targets set for all six Key Target areas, which was a creditable performance by the Agency.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the change in demand on (a) the British Forces Post Office and (b) the Defence Courier Service arising from current operations. 
Mr. Ingram: The prime focus of British Forces Post Office (BFPO) is to ensure continued support to the Defence community wherever individuals are based including on Operation Telic. Assessments of demand, based on both historical data and future planned operations, are constantly updated to ensure that resources are available to meet the anticipated demands both for the delivery of Protectively Marked Material by the Defence Courier Service, and for all other mail through BFPO. This is normal business for BFPO, and BFPO has met its performance targets in these key areas.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) soldiers and (b) other army personnel took part in the 2005 survey of bullying in the Royal Highland Fusiliers; and if he will place a copy of the report of the survey in the Library. 
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made by the investigation of the death of Fusilier Stuart Henderson in the Eskopi garrison in Cyprus on 24 September. 
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army (a) officers and (b) other ranks have been mobilised for service overseas within six months of completing their basic training in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Touhig: The information requested is set out in the following table. It should be noted that the figures represent those personnel mobilised in support of operations both overseas and in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make available a full copy of the final advice to Ministers concerning the selection of a contractor for the Type 45 Destroyer programme. 
Mr. Ingram: It is not possible to make available a full copy of the final advice provided to Ministers as to do so would be prejudicial to the provision of full and frank advice to Ministers and could prejudice the commercial interests of the companies involved. I will, however, send the hon. Member a copy of a summary of the information held on this issue and certain papers included with the final advice to Ministers that have recently been made available in response to a request for information. I will place copies of the documents in the Library of the House.
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