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13 Dec 2005 : Column 1872W—continued

Vehicle Check Points

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicle checks points the police set up in each month of 2005. [36536]

Mr. Woodward: The Police Service of Northern Ireland does not record the number of vehicle checkpoints conducted.


Al-Jamiyat Prison

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Royal Military Police are investigating alleged human rights abuses at the al-Jamiyat prison. [33914]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Military Police are not investigating alleged human rights abuses at the al-Jamiyat prison. We have impressed upon the Iraqi authorities the importance of investigating prisoner abuse, wherever it is alleged to have occurred.
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Anthrax Vaccines

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research has been commissioned on the effects on British forces of anthrax vaccines. [35786]

Mr. Touhig: A research project published under the title Adverse Medical Events in British Service Personnel Following the Anthrax Vaccination" (J. Enstone, M. Wale, J. Nguyen-Van-Tarn & J. Pearson—Vaccine 2003, 21:1348–1354) was funded by the Ministry of Defence and endorsed by the Advisory Group on Medical Countermeasures. The MOD had no editorial input into the conduct, methodology or findings of this study—the editorial rights to the study belong to the University of Nottingham Medical School. The study concluded that the anthrax vaccine is a safe vaccine with minimal side effects.
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The anthrax vaccine is a MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) licensed medical product and therefore fully satisfies the responsible UK regulatory body in matters of vaccine safety and efficacy.

Armed Forces (Morale)

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of morale in the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [35349]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 12 December 2005]: The most recent Continuous Attitude Surveys, conducted by the Services in 2004 and 2005, show the following responses on morale:

Royal Navy OfficersRoyal Navy RatingsRoyal Marine OfficersRoyal Marine Other Ranks
Good and Very Good58.343.878.263.9
Poor and Very Poor12.922.84.313.2


Army OfficersArmy Other RanksRAF OfficersRAF Air men/women
High and Very High69574941
Neither High nor Low22253132
Low and Very Low10182027

The latest Survey was published in October 2005 and is available on the MOD Freedom of Information website. Copies are also held in the Library of the House.

Ministers and Chiefs of Staff remain fully committed to maintaining and improving morale in all the Services.

Army Regiments

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on renaming Army regiments; and when he expects the process to be completed. [36770]

Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 24 November 2005, Official Report, column 129WS, which gives details of all the new infantry titles and formation arrangements.

Asian Earthquake

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) agencies and (b) other Governments using helicopters provided by his Department for relief work in the wake of the recent earthquake in Pakistan and Kashmir have been charged for this use. [36326]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 12 December 2005]: No other Governments or agencies have been, or will be, charged for using the three RAF Chinook helicopters deployed to Pakistan to support the earthquake relief effort.

British Armed Forces (Fijians)

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Fijians serving in the British armed forces have been absent without leave in the last 12 months. [36936]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 12 December 2005]: There were approximately 10 trained Regular Army personnel whose nationality at birth is recorded as Fijian and who were reported as having gone long-term absent without leave during the period 1 October 2004 to 30 September 2005. In the same period none of the serving Fijians in the Royal Air Force were recorded as having gone long-term absent without leave. It is not possible to provide the equivalent figures for the Royal Navy as the figures are not held centrally.

The records for those who have been absent without leave for a short period of time (less than 21 days) are not held in such a way as to allow a nationality to be cross checked with those absent without leave without incurring disproportionate cost.

British Troop Deaths (Iraq)

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops have been (a) killed and (b) injured in the war with Iraq. [34122]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 December 2005]: As at 5 December 2005, a total of 98 British Service personnel have died while serving on Operation TELIC since the start of the campaign in March 2003.

Of these, 75 are known to have been killed as a result of hostile action, and 23 are either known to have died as a result of illness, accident or from other non-combat
13 Dec 2005 : Column 1875W
injuries, or have not yet been officially assigned a cause of death pending the outcomes of ongoing coroners investigations into the circumstances pertaining to these deaths.

The total number of UK personnel admitted to Shaibah Field hospital and classified as wounded in action (WIA) is 189. A larger number have, however, sustained non battle injuries or succumbed to illness whilst serving in Iraq.

Building/Refurbishment Projects

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by his Department in (i) 2005–06 and (ii) 2006–07; and what the expected costs are of each project. [37397]

Mr. Touhig: The information requested is currently being obtained from a number of separate sources and will take a little time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

C17 Aircraft

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to lease more C17 aircraft. [29607]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has no plans to lease additional C-17 aircraft.

Colchester Garrison

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provision has been made for a permanent church building as part of the new Colchester Garrison. [36161]

Mr. Touhig: It is the Ministry of Defence's intention to maintain a church within Colchester Garrison, in the first instance by converting an existing building. The relevant plans have been lodged with Colchester borough council.

Commonwealth Second World War Veterans

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures his Department plans to take to assist Commonwealth Second World War veterans; and if he will make a grant to the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Service League. [34199]

Mr. Touhig: The Government recognises the sacrifices of those from Commonwealth nations who supported the allied effort in World War II and has publicised this through the 'We Were There' exhibition and its schools programme. However, it has been the policy of successive Governments over many years that Departments do not contribute public funds to individual charities in this way.

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