Previous Section Index Home Page

24 Apr 2006 : Column 845W—continued

Defence Intelligence and Security Centre

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which countries short-term training teams were deployed by the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre in 2004–05. [63459]

Mr. Ingram: In 2004–05, short term training teams were deployed from the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre to Iraq, Slovenia and Malaysia.
24 Apr 2006 : Column 846W

Depleted Uranium

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will publish the findings of the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board. [64621]

Mr. Touhig: The Depleted Uranium Oversight Board is an independent committee that reports to me. Its proceedings, including interim summaries of the resultsof the retrospective depleted uranium testing programme, are published on its website ( I understand that the board expects to submit a final report on its work toward the end of 2006.

I understand that, to date, no depleted uranium has been detected in any of the veterans' urine samples monitored under this programme.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effect of depleted uranium shells on soldiers; and if he will make a statement. [64760]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence routinely monitors emerging information on the potential health effects of exposure to depleted uranium (DU) and has studied the authoritative assessments by the Royal Society and others. All the reliable scientific and medical evidence shows that the likelihood of ill health as a result of battlefield exposure to DU is extremely low. Nonetheless, urine testing has been made available to current and former personnel concerned about possible exposure. To date, with the exception of a small number of personnel who suffered shrapnel injuries in a friendly fire" incident involving DU munitions, none of those tested has been found to be excreting DU.

Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when each of the prisons run by the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre ceased to operate; and what took the place of each; [64039]

(2) which organisation took over the functions previously carried out by the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre. [64688]

Mr. Ingram: The research required to locate surviving source material which may provide the information requested will take some time. I will write to the hon. Member when this work is complete.

Far East Prisoners of War

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the camps in which civilians and military personnel must have been interned to be eligible for the Far East Prisoner Of War ex-gratia payment; and what criteria were used to determine the qualifying camps. [62539]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 30 March 2006]: To be eligible under the military part of the ex-gratia scheme, a claimant must have been a member of the UK armed forces and have been captured and detained by the Japanese. An individual's service record and capture cards" provided by the Japanese have normally contained sufficient contemporary evidence to establish Prisoner of War status without the need to prove
24 Apr 2006 : Column 847W
detention in any particular camp. Lists of qualifying camps have not therefore been necessary to prove eligibility for military claimants.

To be eligible under the civilian part of the scheme, a claimant must have been detained within a specifically designated area, under the direct control of the Japanese. Civilian personnel who were held in the camps listed as follows and who met the other criteria for the scheme have received a payment. These camps have been verified as meeting the agreed internment definition through information obtained from a number of sources which include the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Imperial War Museum, the National Archives and ABCIFER. The list includes the main internment camps but is not exhaustive. Claims from former civilian internees who were held captive in other camps would be considered in accordance with the aforementioned internment definition. A small number of claims have been paid to civilians who were not detained at locations directly under the control of the Japanese. These payments were made in error, largely in the initial phase of the scheme. This happened either because eligibility decisions were based on lists of those who had benefited individually or as a family member under the 1950s compensation scheme based on liquidated Japanese assets where the family member may not themselves have been interned, or because the status of some locations had not been fully established.

Qualifying civilian internment camps include the following:

24 Apr 2006 : Column 848W

Information Requests

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many requests for Internal Reviews of Requests for Information he has received in each of the last three years; and how many were completed within 40 working days of receipt of the application. [64781]

Mr. Touhig: Since the full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on 1 January 2005, the Ministry of Defence has received 126 requests for internal reviews of responses to requests for information or of the handling of requests. 108 reviews have been completed, of which 64 were completed within 40 working days of receipt of the application.

Joint Strike Fighter

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Joint Strike Fighter project is subject to the US Arms Export Control Act; and if he will make a statement. [65419]

Mr. Ingram: Yes. Military aircraft appear on the US Munitions List, so the Joint Strike Fighter project is subject to the US Arms Export Control Act.


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many qualified pilots in the Royal Air Force are posted to (a) a flying post on a squadron and (b) a non-flying post. [64608]

Mr. Touhig: The number of trained pilots in the Royal Air Force as at 1 March 2006 by flying/non-flying post is given in the following table.
Trained strength
Flying Post1,520
Non-Flying Post600

All figures have been rounded to the nearest ten.

Private Tesoni Vakacakaudrove

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the Board of Inquiry into the death of Private Tesoni Vakacakaudrove at Leconfield barracks on 6 October 2002 (a) opened and (b) closed; for how many hours the Board sat; and what measures were taken as a result of its recommendations. [62458]

Mr. Touhig: The Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances of the death of Private Tesoni Vakacakaudrove convened on 6 January 2004 and closed on 14 January 2004. The Board comprised three members but there is no record of the number of hours that the Board sat. The recommendations made by the BOI were addressed as follows:

Initial Reporting of Incidents

Direction on the Initial Reporting of such incidents has been reviewed and clearly defined in Defence School of Transport (DST) Standing Orders. Clear guidance is also provided in each accommodation block.
24 Apr 2006 : Column 849W

Immediate Action Drills

Immediate Action Drills Flow Charts have been placed in each accommodation block.


Duty of Care staff are now equipped with both phone and mobile communications which could be relied upon in an emergency.

Health and Safety (H and S)

The DST H and S Policy and Standing Orders have been updated.

Standing Orders

DST Standing Orders have been rewritten.

Bar Orders

Orders for the NAAFI and NAAFI Bar Staff, and for NAAFI points of alcohol sale have been incorporated into Standing Orders, and displayed in all NAAFI run bars and points of sale.


Welfare facilities and processes are clearly identified by the unit. Welfare assistance is provided by empowered officers, unit welfare officer, on site WRVS and Army Welfare Services and a Padre. Driver Training Wing (where all phase 2 students receive instruction) now has an established Student Focus Office headed by a captain. Clear direction on the use of these welfare agencies and facilities are included in induction briefings and advertised in Orders.

Health Education Posters

General alcohol education posters are displayed around the unit in accommodation, training blocks and recreational facilities and interspersed with drink driving posters.

Responsibility for Phase 2 Students

A continuous system of individual reporting from phase 1 to phase 2 training, and onward to the Field Army, now exists.

Cultural Awareness

The formalisation of UK and Foreign and Commonwealth (F and C) service personnel and F and C families cultural induction and orientation is being co-ordinated. The following are being drafted: a short guide to all F and C culture and traditions; F and C diversity management training for UK service personnel for incorporation into appropriate individual training courses; a unit welfare officer's induction package for Fand C families.

Military Ethos

Following the recommendations made in the duty of care appraisal of initial training the military supervisory manpower at DST has been increased. This will help promote military ethos.

Boards of Inquiry

Since 1 June 2004, Boards of Inquiry are required to convene within 48 hours of an incident.

Replacement of staff

This recommendation was considered by HQ Land to be outside the immediate purview of the BOI.

Next Section Index Home Page