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The United Kingdom's limited military training to Columbia is evaluated in a number of ways, including: on the ground monitoring for the duration of training; post-training assessment; progress analysis for long-term projects; academic evaluation of participants on UK courses; and follow-up contact with UK trained individuals. The criteria applicable to the evaluation will differ according to the type of training under consideration. We keep the level and nature of our assistance under regular review.
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John Reid: The United Kingdom has ratified the first four Protocols of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and signed Protocol V in November 2003. We are committed to the ratification of Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War and aim to do so at the earliest opportunity.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Written Statement of 28February 2006, Official Report, columns 910WS, on Defence Munitions Centre Crombie, what assessment he has made of the impact of downgrading Defence Munitions Centre Crombie on the potential for future defence contracts in Rosyth. 
Mr. Ingram: The study into the Future Role of Crombie established that the structural and business changes at Defence Munitions Centre Crombie will not impact on Rosyth's ability to compete for Defence contracts.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Written Statement of 28 February 2006, Official Report, columns 910WS, on Defence Munitions Centre Crombie, what discussions his Department has had with (a) local councils, (b) the Scottish Executive and (c) Bear Scotland on the road freight implications of downgrading the Defence Munitions Centre Crombie. 
Mr. Ingram: No discussions have taken place with local councils, the Scottish Executive or Bear Scotland. Following the changes at Crombie, Defence Storage and Distribution Agency Sites in Cumbria and Dunbartonshire will take responsibility for the transport of munitions to training centres across Scotland. The study into the future role of Crombie concluded that the increase in the volume of traffic on any one route was insufficient to give concern.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Written Statement of 28 February 2006, Official Report, columns 910WS, on Defence Munitions Centre Crombie, what assessment his Department has made of the likely change in his Department's transport costs after the proposed downgrading of the Defence Munitions Centre Crombie in Dunfermline West. 
Mr. Ingram: An assessment of the impact on the transportation of munitions was carried out as part of the study into the future role of Crombie. This concluded that there would be a net increase in transport costs of £24,700 per year. Overall, the restructuring of the site will, however, result in savings of approximately £18 million over the next ten years.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's target is for paying
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invoices to contractors; and what percentage of bills were paid on time in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement made by my it hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Alan Johnson) on 8 November 2005, Official Report, column 14WS.
Service data are published quarterly in Tri-Service Publication 10; the most recent publication shows the numbers of Service personnel at 1 January 2006. Copies of TSP 10 are available in the Library of the House and also on www.dasa.mod.uk.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defencehow many claims for the far east prisoner of war ex-gratia payment have been rejected on the grounds that the claimant was not interned in a qualifying camp. 
Mr. Touhig [holding answer 30 March 2006]: 62claims for payment under the Civilian Internee partof the scheme have been rejected on the basis that the claimant had not provided evidence to confirm internment. This includes both those who could not provide the evidence required to demonstrate that they had been among those held in an internment camp, and those who claimed to be held in locations that did not qualify as internment.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1)what plans he has to fit the new K model Hercules aircraft with (a) the latest generation defensive aids suite and (b) foam in the wing tanks; and if he will make a statement; 
We have decided, subject to final contract negotiations, to fit some of our C-130s with Explosion Suppressant Foam, and expect the first aircraft fitted to be ready for operational tasking within the next few months.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of (i) the latest generation defensive aids suite and (ii) foam in the wing tanks of Hercules aircraft; and what conclusions he has drawn. 
Mr. Ingram: The Air Warfare Centre continually assesses the effectiveness of current defensive aid suites against current and emerging threats. Specific research looking at the threats to our aircraft, options for protection and air platform survivability measures, is also under way and will, among other issues, review the effectiveness of foam in aircraft fuel tanks. The details of these programmes cannot be released as this would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.
Mr. Ingram: All Hercules C-130K Mk 3 aircraft are equipped with infra-red defensive counter-measures and have been since the early 1990s. In 2003 a number of Hercules C-130K Mk 3 aircraft were fitted with a range of additional defensive aid systems and flight deck armour. The actual number of aircraft so equipped is being withheld as information on the precise combination of defensive aids employed on individual airframes could prejudice the security of the UK armed forces.
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