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Mr. Ingram: There are no plans to upgrade the L30A1 gun fitted to the Challenger 2 tank. However, studies are being undertaken to provide information for our future direct fire weapon requirements. This might include a potential replacement for the current Challenger 2 gun.
We have no plans to upgrade the L31 HESH and L34 smoke rounds. However, the next production run of these rounds will have a slightly modified fill to improve its insensitive munitions performance.
10 Nov 2005 : Column 705W
Mr. Touhig: Details of convictions are communicated to the military police of the relevant single service. Recordable offences are then passed on to the Police National Computer, from which they are accessible to a Criminal Records Bureau check.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many garments in each category of the Cut and Sew contract were checked for faults; how many faults were found; and what specific criteria were used to check for different faults. 
|1||Complex Cut and Sew|
e.g. combat jacket
|2||Simple Cut and Sew e.g. ties||133|
|3||Semi-structured e.g. shorts||18,657|
|4||Knitted e.g. fleeces||16,243|
More checks were carried out in Categories 3 and 4 due to new items being added to the contract. Contractor's Workmanship samples are also requested from the Contractor, so that any faults can be rectified before production.
Garments are checked against the contractual specification, which includes certain tolerances to allow for the bulk manufacturing process. Only one fault outside of these tolerances has been identified.
Mr. Touhig: The use of 0870 numbers in the Ministry of Defence is determined at the local level in accordance with individual business requirements. Records of 0870numbers and the revenue received from them is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications for hisDepartment's policy on provision of disablement pensions for ex-servicemen and medical auxiliaries of the decision in the case of Daniel Martin at the Pension Appeal Tribunal on 31 October. 
The Ministry of Defence's policy on the provision of war disablement pensions to former members of the armed forces is unchanged. Awards will
10 Nov 2005 : Column 706W
continue to be made where evidence of disablement is shown and where that disablement is due to, or aggravated by, service.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he expects completion of the review of policy on the issue, control and security of firearms being conducted by the Director General of Training and Education. 
Mr. Touhig: It is anticipated that the review of policy on the issue, control and security of firearms during initial training (Phase 1 and Phase 2), currently being conducted by the Director General Training and Education, in conjunction with the single Services, will culminate in revised policy early in the new year. Stringent regulations are already in place, but the purpose of the review is to ensure best practice is employed in weapon security in converting inexperienced Service personnel in Phase 1 through to trained individuals on completion of Phase 2 who fully understand their responsibilities for personal weapon security.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what means and via what institutions the armed services maintain contact with (a) the Department of Health and (b) the devolved Administrations in order to develop the Forces' Mental Well-being policy. 
Mr. Touhig: The Armed Forces Mental Wellbeing policy is developed and monitored through a steering group which comprises representatives from throughout the Ministry of Defence. The steering group monitors activities involving mental wellbeing in the United Kingdom including, for example, the outputs from the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Official contact between the Department of Health and MOD is regulated by a concordat that has been in place since 2002. This has led to arrangements with NHS Hospital Trusts, both those which host MOD Hospital Units and others, which enable MOD clinical personnel to be trained and to maintain their skills in the NHS environment. The concordat has now been extended to include the Health Departments for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State forDefence for what reasons revised in-service dates of2013 and 2016 for the two Future Aircraft Carriers were published on the Department's website on 19 September; and why this information was subsequently removed. 
[holding answer 7 November 2005]: The dates were published on the website in error. These dates were removed as the in-service dates (ISDs) for the Future Aircraft Carriers will only be set following the main investment decision and once they have been approved by Ministers. This decision has not yet been taken, and will only be taken when we know with confidence the risks involved in building the carriers, when we have a proper understanding of the costs
10 Nov 2005 : Column 707W
involved and the implications in terms of the wider interface with other projects, and for the shipbuilding industry.
Mr. Touhig: Neither the Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for veterans' matters, nor the former Department of Social Security, which was responsible for the War Pensions Scheme until 2001 and remains responsible for the related civilian Industrial Injuries Scheme, have commissioned any research on this issue. The Government's approach to noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss assessment is based on contemporary scientific evidence and understanding. This has been confirmed in recent years by several reviews carried out by independent audiological experts including an Industrial Injuries Advisory Council review. The Ministry of Defence routinely scrutinises the published peer reviewed literature to ensure that compensation policy and approaches continue to take account of contemporary evidence.
|2003||22 July||RM Band Portsmouth||54||0|
|2003||2 October||HMS Nelson||189||0|
|2004||21 April||RM School of Music||83||0|
|2004||9 November||HMS Nelson||188||0|
|2005||12 May||RM School of Music||44||0|
|2005||2 June||RM School of Music||10||(16)0|
|2005||10 August||Nelson UPO||32||0|
|2005||25 October||Nelson PTIs and RN|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will order an urgent investigation into whether there have been (a) breaches of security and (b) drug abuse in HMS Nelson; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: Suspected breaches of security and allegations of illegal substance abuse at MOD establishments are taken very seriously and are rigorously investigated. Following recent media allegations, investigations are already under way at HMS Nelson.
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