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Mr. Ingram: The focus of the United Kingdom Government's space policy is on civil and scientific uses. However, we also derive important security benefits from its military use. Like many countries, the UK uses satellites for a wide range of military functions such as secure communications, meteorological predictions and in the effective monitoring of various arms control treaties. This military use of space is distinct from the deployment of weapons in space. The UK Government has no plans to deploy weapons in space.
As one of the Depository States (along with the US and Russia), the UK Government continues to fully support the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which places important constraints on the use of space, including prohibiting the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space and military activity on the moon and other celestial bodies.
The main forum for discussing the military use of space is the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Wehave taken part in informal discussions on the possibility of a further treaty banning weapons in space, although no international consensus has been reached on the need for such a treaty. Notwithstanding this, we continue to support the annual resolution on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) at the UN.
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Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) the Treasury about the tax treatment and income of and (b) the Department for Trade and Industry about the employment terms and conditions of territorial army personnel with a view to encouraging recruitment and retention. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Ty Gwyn centre for treating ex-service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and what other facilities offering similar services are available. 
Mr. Touhig [holding answer 8 November 2005]: MOD officials are in discussion with officials from the Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations about the provision of services for former service personnel suffering from mental illness resulting from their service. They have not yet had the opportunity to discuss in detail the question of the closure of Ty Gwyn, which was one of a number of facilities with the capability for treating ex-service personnel suffering from PTSD. However, the question of whether its closure leaves any gaps in the capability for treating ex-service personnel suffering from PTSD is one of the subjects for discussion at a meeting planned for 19 December.
Mr. Ingram: The estimated unit production cost of each Type 45 at Main Gate was £582 million. The latest estimated unit production cost, as at 31 March 2005 and as reported in the National Audit Office Major Projects Report 2005, is £561.6 million. The unit production cost excludes development costs, which is amortised over the entire class of warships, and cost of capital.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many battle dress uniforms for the new cut and sew contracts have been produced in (a) China, (b) the UK and (c) other countries, broken down by country; and how many have been tested. 
|Country of production||Quantity delivered|
Combat clothing is among the items listed as Category 1 items within the terms of the contract. As at 8 December, 389 Category 1 garments had been tested by Ministry of Defence personnel. The bulk of these were combat clothing items.
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 so far been identified. Checks carried out by MOD are risk-based random checks, with 100 per cent. checks carried out where necessary. This checking is, however, just one element of a comprehensive quality assurance process starting with the prime contractor and its sub-contractors and ending with technical personnel in the MOD Project Team.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Arctic Veterans Association and (b) other organisations about the proposal for an Emblem to be worn on (i) the Atlantic Star and (ii) 1939 to 1945 Star medals; what decision he has reached on the proposal; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no formal discussions with the Arctic Veterans Association or other organisations to discuss proposals for the new Arctic Emblem to be worn on the ribbon of existing campaign medals. Last month he did meet an Arctic veteran, Commander (Cdr) W. E. Grenfell RN (retired) to discuss the design of the new Emblem, first announced by the Prime Minister on 7 March, during which Cdr Grenfell submitted his own design for consideration. He asked for confirmation that it could be authorised for wear on a medal ribbon. My right hon. Friend made it clear that he could not endorse this proposal.
There are no plans to approach the HD Committee for permission to wear the Arctic Emblem on the ribbon of an existing wartime campaign medal. This would, effectively, give the Emblem the same status as a clasp and the Committee has made it clear on numerous occasions that it will not consider any more medals or clasps for second world war service.
Dr. Julian Lewis:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the financial help available to war-disabled UK veterans, or their widowed spouses, who live in former UK colonies; 
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(2) what discretion he has to make ex gratia payments to deserving cases of war-disabled UK veterans, or their spouses, living abroad in straitened circumstances; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of Second World War-disabled UK veterans, or their spouses, who live in former UK colonies which have failed to pay war-disablement pensions since achieving independence; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Touhig [holding answer 22 November 2005]: Regardless of their country of residence personnel who served in the British armed forces, or their widows, may be entitled to receive payments under the United Kingdom war pension scheme in respect of injury or death due to service.
The provision of the scheme extends to those members who served in military units based in the United Kingdom or Isle of Man. Responsibility for pension provision of British Europeans who served with locally raised colonial forces is the responsibility of the Government of the territory in which they were raised, under arrangements made when they gained their independence.
No estimate has been made of the number of Second World War disabled UK veterans, or their spouses, who live in former British colonies which have failed to pay war disablement pensions since achieving independence.
War disabled veterans who served in units raised in certain former colonial territories can have their overseas war pension supplemented, where the responsible Government has failed to maintain payment, if they can be certified as an overseas officer in respect of the overseas territory in which they enlisted. The responsibility for certifying them as an overseas officer rests with the Overseas Pensions Departments of the Department for International Development and, in broad terms, an overseas officer is one who was not born in the overseas territory and not normally resident there at the time of his service.
In certain circumstances, where no overseas Government pension has been awarded, awards may be made on a statutory basis under the Personal Injuries Scheme and extra statutory awards can be made via Treasury authority given in 1946.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what remedy is available for war-disabled UK veterans, or their spouses, living in former UK colonies, for the adverse effect on war pension claims caused by loss of paperwork or failure to reply by the relevant agency. 
[holding answer 22 November 2005]: Where administrative failure results in financial loss there are provisions under special payment arrangements to make ex gratia payments.
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