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26 Jan 2006 : Column 2303W—continued

Armed Forces (Spiritual Care)

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to make provision for the spiritual care of armed services personnel who have no declared religion. [45806]

Mr. Touhig: The armed forces provide a comprehensive range of support and care for all their personnel. In addition to this being a key responsibility of every commanding officer, such care is available from unit welfare officers, specialist welfare providers, doctors and other professionals. Chaplains, as well as providing spiritual care for Service personnel and their families within their denomination, also provide practical care for personnel of all religions or none. We also issued last year a Guide on Religion and Belief", which includes a section on non-religious belief and no belief, including contact details for appropriate organisations.

Civil Servants

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent in each year since 1997 by his Department on salaries paid to civil servants. [41584]
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Mr. Touhig: The gross salary costs (excluding national insurance contributions and superannuation) paid to civil servants and locally employed civilians (overseas) from 2000–01 to 2004–05 are detailed in the following table.
£ billion

Civil servants gross salary costsLocally employed civilians salary costsTotal

Detailed analysis for 1997–2000 is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The Executive Defence Agencies established as Trading Funds fall outside the departmental accounting boundary. For completeness, I have included the gross salary costs for civil servants and locally employed civilians (overseas) of these organisations from 1997–98 to 2004–05 in the following table.
£ million

Met Office
Army Base Repair
Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DEFA)/defence science and technology laboratory (Dstl)(28)UK Hydrographic officeCivil
Locally employed civiliansDefence Aviation
Repair Agency
Locally employed civilians

(28)Up to 2000–01 the figures are for DERA, 2001–02 is three months for DERA and nine months Dstl, 2002–03 onwards are for Dstl

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many disciplinary actions against civil servants employed in his Department (a) were commenced and (b) resulted in a sanction being applied in each of the last five years. [43498]

Mr. Touhig: Information is not held centrally on the number of Ministry of Defence civil servants that have had disciplinary actions commenced against them and had resultant sanctions applied in each of the last five years. Because action on investigating and dealing with disciplinary offences has been delegated to line management in individual MOD business units, it would incur disproportionate cost to collate the data.

The sanctions that can be awarded against civil servants for breaches of minor and major discipline include any or all of the following (although the list is not exhaustive):

Gross misconduct is the only category of major disciplinary offence that can result in dismissal, usually even for a first offence.

Compensation (Japanese Detainees)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the original Treasury authority for payments to British civilian detainees of the Japanese allowed payments to be made to detainees with no blood links to the UK. [45336]

Mr. Touhig: HM Treasury agreed that funding for the Ex-Gratia Scheme would initially be made available from the Contingency Reserve pending parliamentary approval for the Scheme as part of the then spring supplementary estimate. At that stage, the birthlink criterion had not been defined though the estimates for the cost of the scheme assumed that payments would only be made to civilian internees with a close link to the United Kingdom.
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Departmental Staff/Research Budget

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list, for each of the last three years, (a) the total number of staff in his Department and (b) the total budget allocation related to all aspects of research into thermobaric weapons. [43053]

John Reid: The MOD's research budget is focussed on examining technical possibilities in a variety of technology areas. We do not collate information on research activity in the way requested, not least given the lack of an agreed definition of the term 'thermobaric'. It would be disproportionately expensive and potentially misleading to provide a detailed breakdown for individual research projects.
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The MOD remains committed to the UK's obligations and duties under international law and treaties. Any and all weapons introduced into service are subjected to appropriate legal review.

Destroyer/Frigate Tours

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tours have been undertaken by each of the (a) Type 42 Destroyers, (b) Type 22 frigates and (c) Type 23 frigates in the last three years; where each tour was; what the length of each tour was; and what the length of time was between each tour. [45143]

Mr. Ingram: A Royal Navy tour or deployment is considered to be an activity of at least 90 days' endurance. A list of each deployment, its duration and the ships engaged on it is as follows:
TypeShipTour LengthTour
T42LiverpoolJanuary-JulyGulf/Far East
T22CornwallMarch-OctoberWest Atlantic
T23Iron DukeJanuary-AugustCaribbean
T23RichmondFebruary-AugustGulf/Indian Ocean
T42EdinburghApril-AugustStanding Naval Force Atlantic
T42GloucesterJanuary-JuneGulf with the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
T42ExeterMarch-NovemberFive Powers Defence Arrangement
T22CampbeltownOctober 2003-May 2004Standing Naval Force Atlantic
T22CumberlandApril-OctoberGulf-Op Oracle
T23SomersetJune-DecemberGulf-Op Armilla/Telic
T23MonmouthDecember 2003-July 2004Atlantic Patrol Task (North)
T23Iron DukeSeptember-DecemberAtlantic Patrol Task (South)
T23RichmondJuly-DecemberAtlantic Patrol Task (North)
T23GraftonFebruary-AugustGulf-Op Armilla
T23St. AlbansNovember 2003-May 2004Gulf-Op Oracle
T42GloucesterNovember 2004-March 2005Atlantic Patrol Task (South)
T42YorkMay-NovemberFive Powers Defence Arrangement
T42LiverpoolDecember 2004-August 2005Atlantic Patrol Task (North)
T42SouthamptonAugust 2005-February 2006Atlantic Patrol Task (South)
T22CampbeltownJuly-DecemberGulf-Op Telic
T22ChathamNovember 2004-May 2005Gulf-Op Oracle
T22CumberlandAugust-DecemberAtlantic Patrol Task(North)
T23PortlandMarch-SeptemberAtlantic Patrol Task(South)
T23ArgyllFebruary-AugustGulf-Op Telic
T23MonmouthNovember 2004 May 2005Nato
T23MontroseOctober 2005-April 2006Gulf-Op Telic

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