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27 Jun 2006 : Column 251W—continued

Cadet Forces

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to replace the cadet general purpose rifle used by the cadet forces; and if he will make a statement. [79056]

Mr. Watson: While there are currently sufficient stocks of all types of cadet rifles, future options, including replacement and extending the life of the current weapons, are being considered as part of the Ministry of Defence's normal planning process.

Complaints Management

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he plans to assess the implementation of his December 2005 Defence Instruction Notice concerning recording and retention of information in respect of the management of complaints; and if he will make a report to the House when his assessment has been made. [79882]

Mr. Watson: Assessment of the implementation of the Defence Instruction Notice concerning the recording and retention of information in respect of the management of complaints will commence in January 2007. It is envisaged that a report will be made to the House in 2008 at the conclusion of Phase Three of the Agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Defence Police College

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) new and (b) existing members of the Royal Military Police have attended courses since the opening of the Defence Police college in 2005; and what percentage of the total Royal Military Police personnel this represents; [79885]

(2) what courses are available at the Defence Police college; what the duration is of each; how many external consultants in what fields of expertise have assisted in training in the last five years; and what advice the college has sought from human rights experts in that period; [79886]

(3) who has been appointed as head of the Defence Police college. [79887]

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Mr. Ingram: Lieutenant Colonel T P Watton OBE AGC (RMP) was appointed as Commanding Officer, Defence Police college, when the college was formed in September 2005.

The college provides the following courses:

Number of working days

Royal Navy

Senior Rates Regulation Acquaint


Leading Regulator Sea Pre-Joining


Provisional Professional Examination


Regulating Petty Officer's Course


Initial Regulating Qualifying Course


Submarine Coxswain Course


Personal Safety Training Course


Professional Investigations Course


Royal Military Police

Military Police Officers Course


Company Commanders Course


Investigations Course


Initial Military Police Course


Management of Investigations


Intermediate Qualifying Course


Junior Qualifying Course


Scene of Crime Officer Course


Provost Warrant Officer Course


Pre-Field Army Course


RMP Senior Qualifying Course


Royal Air Force

Assistant Provost Marshal Course


Basic Police Course


Police Further Training Course


Trade Management Training


Air Transport Security


Defensive Tactics (Unit Instructor)


Counter Intelligence Course


PACE Interview Technique Course


Unit Security Officers Course


Station Security Officers Course


Computer Security 1 Course


Computer Security 2 Course


Computer Installation Manager Course



Level 3 Investigations Course


In total, 21 external consultants have assisted with this training since the formation of the college. They have expertise in the following fields:

27 Jun 2006 : Column 253W

The college has not sought advice from external human rights experts. However, all RMP recruits receive training on the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 during their basic training.

A total of 97 trainees and 336 existing members of the Royal Military Police have attended courses at the Defence Police college since its formation. This represents 5.3 per cent. and 18.2 per cent. respectively of the Royal Military Police strength as of 1 May 2006.

European Security and Defence Policy

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the objectives are of the European Security and Defence Policy. [80191]

Des Browne: The European Security and Defence Policy was devised as a means of adding military and civilian crisis management capabilities to the range of instruments—political, diplomatic, economic—already available to the EU to address crisis situations elsewhere in the world.

The UK has succeeded in steering the policy from the outset to ensure that it complements the role of NATO as the cornerstone of European defence.

The existence today of 14 EU-led missions, mostly civilian, on three continents, all in areas of high priority in terms of the UK's foreign policy interests, is evidence that the policy is making a positive difference to international security.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an inquiry has been conducted into the unlawful killings in Iraq of (a) Gunner David Lawrence of 1st Battalion Royal Horse Artillery and (b) Corporal Marc Taylor of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers by (i) the Iraqi police and (ii) the British armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [53690]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 27 February 2006]: The conduct or otherwise of inquiries by the Iraqi Police Service is solely a matter for the Iraqi Government. The Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch (RMP(SIB)) conducted an investigation into the incident in which Gunner David Lawrence and Corporal Marc Taylor died. A copy of the RMP(SIB) report was submitted to the coroner for the inquest into the death of both soldiers which concluded on 15 February 2006.

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Joint Personnel Administration

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) why the roll-out of Joint Personnel Administration has been delayed for (a) the Army and (b) the Royal Navy; and what the expected dates are for roll-out for each service; [79661]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of Joint Personnel Administration in March; and if he will make a statement. [79664]

Mr. Watson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my Noble Friend (Lord Drayson) gave on 14 June 2006, Official Report, column WA31 in another place to the Noble Lord Garden.

Operation Dominic (Compensation)

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provisions have been made to provide compensation for (a) British personnel who have suffered injury and (b) families of those who have died as a consequence of the Operation Dominic series of nuclear tests conducted in the vicinity of Christmas Island in 1962. [79784]

Mr. Watson: British service personnel who suffered injury as a result of service, or their surviving spouses, may apply for a war pension, or war widow’s pension, under the terms of the war pension scheme. A war pension may be payable in respect of any disablement or death due to service. There are no restrictions on the time or place of service and no time limits for making a claim under the scheme.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will answer Question 53690, tabled on 16 February, Question 70034, tabled on 9 May, and Questions 70033 and 70145, tabled on 10 May, by the hon. Member for Forest of Dean. [80284]

Mr. Watson: I answered Question 53690, today. Work to answer Questions 70033, 70034 and 70145 is under way and I expect to be in a position to answer them shortly.

RAF Cosford

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on RAF Cosford being the preferred site for aeronautical training in the Defence Training Review; and if he will make a statement. [80794]

Mr. Watson: I have received many representations recommending Cosford as the preferred site for Aeronautical Engineering training; since January 2006 these have included 99 letters from the public, 14 letters from MPs, five Parliamentary Questions plus various meetings with MPs and officials. But, as I have said previously, we will select the solution which offers the best training capability for Defence.

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Royal Military Police

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training the Royal Military Police receive in the use of the computerised Home Office Large Murder Enquiry System. [79883]

Mr. Ingram: Senior Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch (RMP (SIB)) personnel attend Home Office approved Senior Investigation Officer Courses, which cover the use the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES) Version 2 and other systems designed to assist in major police investigations. Although RMP (SIB) personnel are no longer trained as HOLMES operators, this capability is maintained by the Ministry of Defence police, whose personnel attend courses provided by Home Department police forces training schools. The Service police forces have access to the system as required.

Royal Navy (Catering)

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all Royal Navy personnel serving at sea have access to Halal and non-Halal meat options. [79765]

Mr. Watson: Yes.

Service Allowances

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2006, Official Report, column 1583, on service allowances, for what reason regular service personnel of less than 12 months' service are not entitled to longer separation service allowance. [80497]

Mr. Watson [holding answer 26 June 2006]: The X-Factor is an adjustment made to military pay, recommended by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB), which recognises the relative disadvantages of the conditions of service experienced by members of the armed forces, compared with personnel in the civilian sector.

X-Factor is currently set at 13 per cent. for Regular personnel and is made up of a number of elements, one of which includes an element of separation. Therefore, to avoid double recompense, service personnel must experience a degree of separation (the qualifying period) before Longer Separated Service Allowance (LSSA) becomes payable.

With the roll-out of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA), LSSA is being replaced by Longer Separation Allowance (LSA). In recognition of the fact some junior personnel, particularly those in the infantry and Royal Marines, deploy immediately after their training, the Initial Qualifying Period for LSA has been set at 100 days of qualifying separated service. (Qualifying separated service requires personnel to be at a location that precludes return to their duty station, family or permanent residence for periods in excess of 10 days). This change from 12 months benefits those who deploy early in their careers.

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