|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) 0800, (b) 0845 and (c) 0870 telephone numbers for the public administered by (i) his department and (ii) agencies which report to him. 
Mr. Touhig: The use of 0800, 0845 or 0870 telephone numbers in the Ministry of Defence and its agencies is determined at local level in accordance with individual business requirements, and ordered directly from the supplier. Records of these numbers are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 March 2006]: Events in Stockwell on 22 July 2005 are currently under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I am therefore unable to make any comment.
Mr. Touhig: There are 59 Service Family Accommodation properties on the Falkland Islands. The standard of condition of the properties is grade one for 23 of them, and grade two for the remaining 36; there are no grade three or four properties.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) establishment and (b) staff numbers in post are of each specialisation of allied health professionals in each of the services. 
Mr. Touhig: The table shows the established and actual numbers of Allied Health Professionals in post, classified by specialisation. In light of current operational planning assumptions, the tri-Service manning requirement for the Defence Medical Services (DMS) is currently under review. As a result, the total DMS requirement figures are expected to decrease in the near future.
|Post||Established Posts||Number in Post|
|Combat Medical Technician (Army)||2,030||1,620|
|Dental Surgery Support||410||390|
|Environmental Health Officer||29||29|
|Environmental Health Technicians||110||100|
|Medical Admin (RAF)||340||330|
|Medical Assistant (Royal Marine and Commando)||120||66|
|Medical Assistant (Dental)||(3)||(3)|
|Medical Assistant (General Duties)||380||470|
|Medical Assistant (RAF)||360||370|
|Medical Assistant (Submarine)||77||86|
|Operating Department Practitioners||190||120|
|Single Service Command and Staff||4||(3)|
|Tri-Service Command and Staff||1||(3)|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's definition is of (a) insurgents and (b) terrorists; and whether these definitions could simultaneously apply to the same individuals. 
[holding answer 16 March 2006]: In the context of UK military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the term insurgents" generally refers to those violently opposing government authority and the rule of law in the particular country or countries where they live. Terrorists" are those connected to a specific, named terrorist organisation which is recognised as such
20 Mar 2006 : Column 21W
by the UK or by the international community as a whole and who may or may not be engaged in violence against the Government of the country where they live.
It is possible that an individual may choose both to be part of a terrorist group, and to participate in an insurgency. It is recognised that these terms are often used interchangeably in common usage.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a D Notice was issued to restrict reporting of complaints from family of service personnel killed in Iraq that army vehicles had not been fixed with anti-roadside bomb detection and protective devices; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: D Notices were replaced by the Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system in 1993. The DA Notice system is overseen by the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC), a joint government/media body. The five standing DA Notices approved by the Committee (see www.dnotice.org.uk) provide the media with guidance on the areas of national security that need to be protected; they also provide the basis for prior negotiation in cases of dispute. The DA Notice code is purely voluntary and is not supported by any form of legal sanction. The five standing DA Notices are used by the DPBAC Secretarywho administers the system on a day-to-day basisto provide further guidance to the media or officials about reporting on specific events or circumstances.
On 3 September 2004 the then DPBAC Secretary wrote a general letter to editors on the subject of protective countermeasures used by British forces in Iraq. In it he acknowledged that it was widely known that the British forces in Iraq were employing various types of countermeasures to protect themselves against the roadside ambush techniques being used by Iraqi insurgents. He went on to advise that the publication or broadcasting of the specific details of these countermeasures would pose a real and serious danger to life".
This was followed by two other general letters issued by the DPBAC Secretary to editors (respectively 22 August and 6 October 2005) repeating and elaborating the previous advice. All of these letters were written in response to developing concerns by British commanders that the publication or broadcasting of such details risked nullifying British countermeasures and thus increasing the risks faced by members of the British forces, not only in Iraq but also in other theatres.
No DA Notice advice has ever been offered which attempts to restrict the reporting of complaints from families of Service personnel killed in Iraq that British Army vehicles had not been equipped with anti-roadside bomb detection and protective devices.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) prisoners of war or surviving spouses and (b) civilian internees or surviving spouses are (i) eligible
20 Mar 2006 : Column 22W
for payment, (ii) have been paid and (iii) are awaiting payment in relation to the ex-gratia scheme for former Far East prisoners of war and civilian internees. 
Mr. Touhig [holding answer 16 March 2006]: We do not have information on numbers of surviving former prisoners of war, former civilian internees or spouses, or on their personal circumstances that would allow us to assess the numbers eligible for payment under the scheme. The other information on numbers paid or awaiting decisions is set out as follows:
|Prisoners of War (POW)||8,460|
|POW surviving spouses||12,495|
|Civilian Internees (CI)||2,428|
|CI surviving spouses||599|
|Cases where category is unclear||93|
|Cases awaiting decision||162|
The position of the 93 cases where the category is unclear could only be clarified by identifying and reviewing each of the claim files affected. This could only be done at disproportionate cost. Decisions under the civilian element of the scheme were suspended last year following a High Court judgement that the criteria for deciding whether a claimant met the nationality criteria had resulted in unlawful indirect discrimination. This judgement is the subject of an appeal by both sides that is due to be heard in the Court of Appeal early next month.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|