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13 Dec 2005 : Column 1879W—continued

Kenya (Military Training)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made on securing the future of military training facilities in Kenya. [36136]

Mr. Ingram: Detailed negotiations about the continuation of British Army training in Kenya and the adjustment of restrictions placed on that training are being led by the British high commissioner in Nairobi. However, as a result of the recent referendum in Kenya we anticipate a delay in the proceedings while new members of the Cabinet are appointed. In the meantime, the current memorandum of understanding between the two Governments, which expired in December 2004, has been extended to allow the British Army to continue to conduct training in Kenya.

Military Establishments (Wales)

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) acreage and (b) purpose is of each military (i) establishment and (ii) site in Wales; and what plans he has to dispose of establishments and sites in Wales. [35781]

Mr. Touhig: The defence estate in Wales comprises approximately 23,077 hectares. Tables providing details of operational Ministry of Defence (MOD) sites in Wales with areas in hectares and indicative uses have been placed in the Library of the House.
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Sites presently in disposal in Wales are Kinmel Park (5.91 hectares), Llanbedr (229.95 hectares), RAF Sealand (100 hectares), land adjacent to Hayston Farm at Castlemartin (1.21 hectares) and Poor Wood at Caerwent Training Area (11.13 hectares).

A snapshot of surplus defence land and property currently listed for disposal is available in the Library of the House. The need to retain land and property is continually reviewed. A revised list is currently being prepared and will be placed in the Library by the end of the year. This will include details of all disposals which have been confirmed.

Naval Pensions

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many individuals would currently qualify for a full naval pension if they had retired after 31 March 1975 but do not qualify because they retired before that date with fewer than 22 years of pensionable service. [27309]

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

Overseas Military Bases

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British armed forces personnel are stationed at British military bases abroad, broken down by country. [35330]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is contained in Tri Service Publication 6, Global Location of UK Regular Forces (TSP 6).

TSP 6 is published quarterly; the most recent publication shows the numbers of Service personnel at 1 July 2005.

Copies of TSP 6 are available in the Library of the House and also available on

Parliamentary Question

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to answer Question reference 23306 tabled by the hon. Member for Yeovil. [33639]

Mr. Touhig: I replied to the hon. Member today.

Royal Irish Regiment

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason members of the Royal Irish Regiment were refused permission to wear uniform for the annual laying of wreaths on the morning of Remembrance Sunday, 13 November, in the Castlederg area of west Tyrone; and if he will make a statement. [35863]

Mr. Touhig: As a result of a review of Regimental policy on Memorials, Rolls of Honour and Books of Remembrance it was decided that the Royal Irish Regiment should only be represented at and take part in acts of remembrance at national and principal sites of remembrance in Northern Ireland. Where this happened, including in Tyrone, the Royal Irish Regiment paraded in uniform.
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Where individual members of the Regiment carried out an act of remembrance, for the most part in conjunction with members of the local Ulster Defence Regiment Associations, for security reasons it was deemed necessary that they should not wear uniform.

Stevens Express Leasing

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates aircraft registered in the US by Stevens Express Leasing have landed at military UK airfields in each of the last five years. [35998]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Thermobaric Weapons

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on (a) the procurement and (b) the deployment of thermobaric weapons; and if he will make a statement. [31625]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 December 2005]: The UK does not possess, and has no plans to procure, so-called thermobaric weapons.

Underwater Storage

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the Checkmate underwater storage system devised by International Underwater Storage Ltd of Balcombe, West Sussex. [34036]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has given the Checkmate" system careful consideration. However, at present we have no requirement for it. The threat that might be posed by a system like Checkmate" has also been assessed.

US Air Force

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State forDefence what the arrangements are under which the US Air Force operates in the United Kingdom; and whether there is a legal agreement covering those arrangements. [36363]

Mr. Ingram: The presence of the United States Visiting Force (USVF) in the United Kingdom is at the invitation of the UK Government. The legal basis for the USVF's UK presence is primarily the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) of 1951 and the Visiting Forces Act of 1952. These establish the legal status of the USVF and its personnel in the UK and help to maintain the relationship that exists between the UK and the US for the purposes of our common defence.

US-registered Aircraft

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since 1 January 2001 US-registered aircraft tail number (a) N44982, formerly N8068V and N379P, and (b) N313P operated in UK military airspace. [34632]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 12 December 2005]: Civil aircraft are not permitted to operate in the areas of reserved airspace allocated to the Ministry of Defence by the Civil Aviation Authority.
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Broadcasting (Illegal Jamming)

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether any aid and development provided by (a) the UK and (b) the European Union to Libya is (i) dependent and (ii) conditional on broadcasting access to the country unimpeded by official agencies in accordance with the UN's International Telecommunications Union Agency's agreements and treaty provisions; and if he will make a statement. [34917]

Mr. Thomas: None of the UK's or EC's development assistance to Libya is dependent or conditional on unimpeded broadcasting access to the country.

The UK provides funding to Libya under the Global Opportunities Fund and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. Under the Global Opportunities Fund in 2005–06, the UK is providing £200,000 to fund projects related to the rule of law and good governance. Under the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, in the same period, £285,000 will fund projects aimed at building mutual confidence between the UK and Libya. This includes educational exchanges, the training of Libyan officers in the UK and closer military liaison.

The EC does not have a direct bilateral programme with Libya. However, it will provide €1 million for an HIV/AIDS package over the next year.

CDC/Actis Capital

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list CDC/Actis Capital-funded (a) new investments and (b) disposals in (i) agribusiness, (ii) telecoms, (iii) infrastructure, (iv) minerals, oil and gas, (v) financial institutions, (vi) education and health sectors, (vii) retail and (viii) energy in each year since 1999, broken down by country. [35450]

Hilary Benn: I have arranged for the document entitled, List of CDC's New Investments and Disposals 1999–2004", which gives the information requested, to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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