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3 July 2006 : Column 705W—continued

Departmental Travel

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to ensure that all flights undertaken by Ministers and officials in his Department are carbon neutral; and if he will make a statement. [81393]

Mr. Watson: The Ministry of Defence is participating in the Government’s Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF) to meet the Government’s commitment to offset carbon dioxide emissions arising from ministerial and official air travel. MOD is collecting flight mileage for head office travel to provide the data for GCOF.

Disciplinary Action

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions have been issued to those responsible for posting of individual service personnel regarding the system for the monitoring and vetting of potential instructors who may have been subject to allegations of disciplinary action involving (a) bullying and (b) harassment. [79842]

Mr. Watson: The posting of individual service personnel is considered by the armed forces on a case-by-case basis. Every effort is made to ensure that all the relevant facts, including career and disciplinary records, are taken into account. Work is under way to review the checks that are carried out on personnel applying for instructor posts to ensure that best practice is applied across the three services.

Equal Opportunities

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) terms of reference and (b) rules of procedure are for equal opportunities investigation teams. [79915]

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Mr. Watson: I will write to my hon. Friend enclosing the terms of reference for equal opportunities investigation teams and will place copies in the Library of the House. The teams operate in accordance with MOD Harassment Complaints Procedures (JSP 763).

Far East Civilian Internees

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment process he will use to judge the claims for the ex-gratia payment by those former Far East civilian internees who do not qualify under the 20-year rule; and how many such claims he expects there to be. [81194]

Mr. Watson [holding answer 29 June 2006]: It is not possible to make a reliable estimate of how many unsuccessful claims will remain after they have been reviewed against the changes that were announced by my predecessor on 28 March 2006. However, for those cases that do not meet the aforementioned eligibility criteria for a payment under the scheme, we are working with a relevant charity to see how we might be able to support them in their work to provide assistance in cases of hardship. It is too early to say what form this might take but I expect to have concluded this work shortly.

Field Hospitals

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which chemicals may be used (a) to impregnate, (b) to restore, (c) to protect and (d) to disinfect tentage used in field hospitals; [78545]

(2) how many field hospital tent units are stored in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Germany; and what plans he has to change the numbers. [78546]

Mr. Watson: There are a total of seven complete field hospital modular tent systems for use by UK land forces, which would all normally be stored in the UK. The current in-service field hospital tentage is programmed for replacement in 2010 and the future requirement for exact numbers and type is yet to be determined.

For tent material procured before 2000 the type of chemical used to provide rot-proofing is Pentachlorophenol Laurate (PCPL). Tentage purchased after 2000 uses an agent known as Mystox TRP. Mystox TRP is also currently used to provide protection for fire-retardancy and waterproofing. Both treatments are compliant with current EU and UK health and safety legislation. Field hospital tentage is not routinely subject to disinfection.

Global Positioning System Re-Radiators

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his assessment is of the significance of global positioning system re-radiators for (a) the defence industry and (b) British defence capability, with particular reference to the development of (i) the Bowman system and (ii) the Typhoon aircraft. [81195]

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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 29 June 2006]: Global positioning system (GPS) re-radiators provide GPS signals on exactly the same frequencies as the GPS satellites by receiving and re-transmitting the signals from the GPS satellites. They therefore can have a benefit in extending GPS coverage to areas where the GPS satellites cannot provide coverage due to the attenuation of satellite signal.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and (b) Ofcom regarding the licensing of global positioning system re-radiators; and if he will make a statement. [81196]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 29 June 2006]: The Ministry of Defence has had no discussions with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the licensing of global positioning system (GPS) re-radiators.

The MOD has recently discussed the licensing of GPS re-radiators with representatives from Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport.

MOD has stated to Ofcom that it considers there may be significant interference problems if GPS re-radiators are licence-exempted.

MOD has further stated to Ofcom that it considers the approach used by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with regard to GPS re-radiators may be appropriate in the UK. The NTIA allowed GPS re-radiators to be used in the US by federal agencies (Government and Government Agencies) at fixed locations.


Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the cost of compensating all living Gurkhas who have completed their service for pay received below levels provided to British servicemen and women serving at the same time. [81939]

Mr. Watson: No estimate has been made. Gurkhas serve under their own terms and conditions of service, which we maintain are fair and appropriate to their unique status.

Since 1997, universal addition to Gurkha pay has ensured that they receive the same take-home pay as their British counterparts. This also applied to Gurkhas serving in the UK since 1972; those serving elsewhere received the appropriate cost of living allowance.

Health Questionnaires

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the implementation of his April 2004 policy of seeking completed health questionnaires filled in by the general practitioner of each recruit arriving at phase 1 training establishments; what percentage of recruits were
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accompanied by such documentation on arrival; what percentage of recruits have completed phase 1 training without having their health needs assessed and recorded; and when and by what method he expects to review the effectiveness of this policy. [79843]

Mr. Watson: Once an individual applies to join the Army, a British Army health questionnaire is sent to the applicant’s general practitioner for completion. Almost all Army recruits arrive at their phase 1 training establishment with a completed health questionnaire. A small number of questionnaires may be slightly delayed and arrive shortly after. No trainees complete phase 1 training without having their health needs assessed and recorded.

The Army is currently trialling a policy whereby once an applicant has passed selection, a copy of the applicant’s general practitioner records are requested for scrutiny by occupational clinical staff. Evaluation of this process will be carried out and made available to the other two services.

Improvised Explosives

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British casualties have been caused by improvised explosive devices during the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. [79991]

Des Browne [holding answer 26 June 2006]: The Ministry of Defence holds records only of people killed or injured while in its direct employ, not of all British citizens in operational theatres. As at 28 June 2006, 25 UK service personnel have been killed in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a result of improvised explosive devices.

Aggregate medical records typically detail the type of injury sustained, not necessarily the cause of injury. Centrally available records show that around 230 UK military and civilian personnel have been treated at UK medical facilities in Iraq for wounds received as a result of hostile action. Details of such casualties are published on the MOD website on a monthly basis. In Afghanistan, records show a total of 10 personnel injured by improvised explosive devices. Further details are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Inquest Proceedings

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions in the past two years (a) his Department, (b) the Army and (c) members of the armed services were represented at inquest proceedings; and what his estimate is of the cost on each occasion. [79869]

Mr. Watson: Where the Ministry of Defence is legally represented at inquests no distinction is made between the Department and the three armed services. Legal representation for the Department will normally subsume individuals unless there is a conflict of interest between the position of the Department and that of the individual. In the event of such a conflict
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the individual would be responsible for the cost if they chose to be legally represented.

On one occasion in the past two years, on the basis of legal advice, MOD provided separate legal assistance for two individuals even though there was no conflict of interest.

During the period 22 June 2004 to 21 June 2006 the MOD was legally represented at 17(1) inquests as follows:

Inquest £

Sapper Passmore

July 2004


Cpl Rees

August 2004


Mrs. Heather Bell

October 2004


Cpl Pears

November 2004


LBdr Walmsley

November 2004


MEM Benton

February 2005


Lt Christie

May 2005


Pte Shipley

August 2005


Cdre White(1)

October 2005


April 2006

Lt Col Van der Horst

November 2005


LBdr Wilson

December 2005


Cpl Neill

November 2005


WO2 White

January 2006


Mr Hugh Paton

February 2006


Pte Collinson

February 2006


Sgt Hamilton Jewell

March 2006


Cpl Aston

Cp Long

Cpl Miller

LCpl Hyde

LCpl Keys

(1 )Two inquests were held in Gibraltar and England


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK personnel injured in Iraq since 2003 have been treated in each (a) British and (b) Coalition hospital in (i) the Middle East and (ii) Cyprus; and what type of injury was sustained in each case. [74970]

Des Browne: In total, 386 UK personnel serving on Telic were treated at the Role 3 Facility in Cyprus, 19 of whom returned to their units in theatre after treatment. The remaining 367 personnel were sent back to the UK
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either for additional treatment or to their units. Of the 386 personnel, 33 were treated for wounds received as a result of hostile action and 353 for disease and non-battle injuries. All personnel treated at the medical facility in Cyprus are included in the aeromedical evacuation reporting published on the MOD website.

As far as we know, no UK personnel injured in Iraq were treated in any other British or Coalition hospital in the Middle East outside the Telic area of operations.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what injuries were entered into individual unit logs for those units involved in Operation Telic. [74977]

Des Browne: A unit’s operational records should include copies of all routine documentation produced during an operational tour.

Since October 2005 units have been specifically tasked to provide a daily update of all injuries to personnel and vehicles from major causes. Prior to this, units were not specifically tasked to do this and the information recorded for the early phases of Operation Telic is therefore not comprehensive and has not been extracted from the rest of the documentation produced by the unit. Further detail relating to the period prior to October 2005 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British soldiers have served in Iraq over the last three years. [80854]

Mr. Ingram: Since March 2003, there have been 112,000 UK deployments on Operation Telic. This figure includes individuals who have deployed on more than one occasion.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which national contingents are assisting the British Army in Multinational Division (South East) in Iraq; and what their force totals are. [81135]

Des Browne: The approximate troop contributions from current partner nations deployed in Multinational Division (South East) in Iraq are listed as follows:

Nation Troops



Czech Republic












United Kingdom


(1) Roulement is ongoing

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