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22 Nov 2005 : Column 1879W—continued

Aircraft Crashes

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 374W, on aircraft crashes, why the radar altitude hold was not cleared for use on the Chinook HC1; and if he will make a statement. [25113]

Mr. Touhig: The radar altitude hold was not cleared for use on the Chinook HC1 because, during acceptance trials, a small number of technical problems were identified with its use. However, the non-operation of the radar altitude hold did not affect overall safety of the aircraft as the altimeter could be set to give both visual and audio indications of a drop in altitude.

Armed Forces

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes in the rules of engagement are being made as the UK takes on leadership of the Allied Rapid Reaction Force. [29680]

Mr. Ingram: The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) is the British-led High Readiness Force (Land) Headquarters, one of six NATO possesses. These headquarters command the International Security Assistance Force in turn. The Headquarters Group of the ARRC will operate under Rules of Engagement compatible with those agreed by NATO, but it has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment in detail on the Rules of Engagement under which our armed forces operate.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about inappropriate kit have been recorded in the recent campaigns in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [27615]

Mr. Ingram: I understand that this question refers specifically to clothing and backpacks. There have been no officially reported complaints within the chain of command about inappropriate clothing or backpacks from either Iraq or Afghanistan during the last 12 months for which records are maintained. The equipment provided to armed forces personnel is sufficient and appropriate for the tasks they are required to undertake.

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons applications from Fiji to join the armed services are on hold. [28929]

Mr. Touhig: The recruitment of Fijian Nationals is not on hold. Fijian nationals may still apply to join the armed services in the same way as applicants from any other Commonwealth Country.
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However, the practice of the Commonwealth Selection Team visiting Fiji has been placed on hold pending a review of the procedures used to select and support Fijians in the British Army.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department last reviewed the duty free status of cigarettes for armed service personnel. [29275]

Mr. Touhig: Service personnel are able to purchase duty free cigarettes when on board HM Ships in international waters and normally when overseas, although quantities may be limited by local agreements. The arrangements are well established and have not been subject to review.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of smoking among armed service personnel. [29276]

Mr. Touhig: The most recent completed assessment of prevalence of smoking amongst armed service personnel was carried out by the Defence Dental Services as part of their annual dental inspections for the year 2004–05. It recorded smoking prevalence of 23 per cent. for the Royal Navy., 33 per cent. for the Army and 19.6 per cent. for the RAF.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the armed forces' entitlement to duty free cigarettes on the prevalence of smoking among service personnel. [29277]

Mr. Touhig: There has been no assessment specifically relating to the impact on the prevalence of smoking of the availability of duty free cigarettes to Service personnel serving abroad.

Army Recruitment Campaigns

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of the British Army recruitment campaigns in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [30223]

Mr. Touhig: The regional recruitment marketing costs for Commander Regional Recruiting Northern Ireland, one of the nine Commanders Regional Recruiting within the United Kingdom, for the last five financial years are detailed in the table. These cover activities including: local marketing, newspapers, printing and local Regimental Recruiting Team marketing, but exclude staff costs. They also exclude national advertising, television, radio, response handing, magazines, education and citizenship, national events and exhibitions and Camouflage (Youth programme), which are funded centrally by Headquarters Recruiting Group, a part of the Army Training and Recruiting Agency. It is not possible to apportion these national costs to regional areas of the United Kingdom.
Financial yearCost of marketing (£ million)

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The reduction in the costs for 2003–04 was due to a general redeployment of regional marketing funds to Headquarters Recruiting Group's national recruiting operation.

Additional funding was provided to Northern Ireland in 2004–05 to fund a bespoke television advertising campaign on Ulster Television to counter the difficult recruiting environment, which nationally grew towards the end of the year.

Harrier Aircraft

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Harrier aircraft fleet. [30344]

Mr. Ingram: By April 2006, the Joint Force Harrier (JFH) will have migrated to an all Harrier Ground Reconnaissance force, comprising GR7, GR9 and T10 aircraft, following the withdrawal of the Sea Harrier aircraft from service. The Harrier GR force will remain in service until it is replaced by the Joint Combat Aircraft around the middle of the next decade.

Courts Martial

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) soldiers and (b) officers in the British Army have resumed their military careers after being found not guilty by a court martial in each of the last 10 years. [29775]

Mr. Touhig: All soldiers and officers who are found not guilty at a court martial may, in principle, continue their military career. However, if it is deemed appropriate, subsequent administrative action could be taken which could result in discharge from the Army. Service personnel might also choose to seek premature voluntary release.

The figures in the following table indicate the numbers in each of the last 10 years who have been found not guilty at court martial.
Number acquitted

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The numbers of those discharged as a result of administrative action after having been found not guilty at court martial, or who choose to leave voluntarily, could not be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces were (a) charged and (b) found guilty at courts martial for each category of serious crimes of violence up to that of murder in cases where all proceedings are complete in each of the past 10 years; and how many of those found guilty were (i) sent to prison, (ii) dismissed, (iii) dismissed in disgrace and (iv) retained in the forces following a period of imprisonment in each year. [30227]

Mr. Touhig: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the theatres for service in which General Service Medals and Clasps have ceased to be awarded, broken down by (a) date and (b) reasons for the decision in each case. [30535]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 21 November 2005]: There is currently only one General Service Medal (GSM) in issue, for service in Northern Ireland. GSMs no longer in issue would have been terminated because the operation ended or the risk and rigour diminished. It must be noted that medals and clasps are not in the gift of the Ministry of Defence—this Department only makes recommendations through the Cabinet Office to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (HD Committee), which in turn makes recommendations to HM The Queen.

The following GSMs have been awarded since the end of the Second World War:
General Service Medal 1918–62 with clasps for:
a. South East Asia 1945–463 September 1945 to 30 November 1946
b. Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945–493 September 1945 to 31 December 1949
c. Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945–563 September 1945 to 10 November 1956
d. Palestine 1945–4827 September 1945 to 30 June 1948
e. Malaya16 June 1948 to 31 July 1960
f. Canal Zone16 October 1951 to 19 October1954
g. Cyprus1 April 1955 to 18 April 1959
h. Near East31 October to 22 December1956
i. Arabian Peninsula1 January 1957 to 30 June 1960
j. Brunei8 December to 23 December 1962
The General Service Medal 1962 with clasps for:
a. Borneo24 December 1962 to 11 August 1966
b. Radfan25 April to 31 July 1964
c. South Arabia1 August 1964 to 30 November 1967
d. Malay Peninsula17 August 1964 to 11 August 1966
e. South Vietnam24 December 1962 and 29 May 1964
f. Northern Ireland14 August 1969 to a date to be decided
g. Dhofar1 October 1969 to 3 September 1976
h. Lebanon7 February 1983 to 9 March 1984
i. Mine Clearance (Gulf of Suez)15 August to 15 October 1984
j. Gulf17 November 1986 to 28 February 1989
k. Kuwait8 March to 30 September 1991
l. Northern Iraq/Southern Turkey6 April to 17 July 1991
m. Air Operations Iraq16 July 1991 to 18 March 2003 (Op Resinate (South)) or 30 April 2003 (Op Resinate (North)).

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