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The number of current and former service personnel treated by the NHS for mental health conditions since the beginning of the operation in Iraq is not known. Similarly, details of personnel who have been discharged as a result of a mental health condition that can be attributed specifically to service in Iraq and whose continued medical care has therefore been transferred to the NHS is not held centrally and to obtain it would require the examination of the individual medical records of every patient. These can only be viewed for non-clinical reasons with the express consent of the individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality. To seek permission, and then to extract the information from the records, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications for release of service records from the second world war his Department has received since 1997; and how many such applications have been successful. 
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures are in place to ensure consistency in decision making when considering whether to release service records following an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Watson: The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force personnel staffs who answer such requests work to the same guidance and criteria in discharging MOD's duty to process personal data fairly and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Key issues include whether the subject of the record is alive; whether the next of kin are making or are aware of the request; and the precise nature of the information held and requested. This inevitably involves case by case consideration of often complex circumstances. A number of reports of apparently inconsistent outcomes have led officials to launch a review with the aim of providing more detailed guidance on the release of information from service records. I will write to the hon. Member when that work is complete, which I expect to be before the end of the year.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the average total pension payments received by (a) a Gurkha soldier and (b) a retired British soldier during his lifetime. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) average, (b) highest and (c) lowest proportion of time was which submarine personnel spent on operations in the last three years. 
Highest: 43 per cent.
Lowest: 6 per cent.
Average: 33.5 per cent.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the UK Government have paid any reparation to the Canadian Government following the fire aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi and the subsequent rescue mission. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the UK Government have paid any reparation to the Canadian Government in relation to the four Upholder class submarines that were found to be damaged upon delivery to the Canadian Forces Maritime Command. 
Des Browne: Her Majesty's Government welcomed the signing on 5 May 2006 of the Darfur peace agreement by the Government of Sudan and the Minni Minawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. We are urging all partners to support fully the implementation of the agreement, and the strengthening of the African mission in Sudan (AMIS) to meet the tasks contained within it.
To date, the UK has committed £52 million in financial support to AMIS. Additionally, through the European Union and at the request of the African Union, the MOD has provided two military advisers.
Separately, the UK has provided three staff officers, including the chief of staff, to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), mandated to support the implementation of the north-south comprehensive peace agreement.
If approved, UNMIS could be expanded to assume peacekeeping responsibilities in Darfur, taking over from AMIS. In preparation, and at the request of the UN, the MOD has deployed one military officer to the department of peace keeping operations in New York to assist with planning support.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in (a) exploring alternative contracting arrangements and (b) establishing the way ahead for contracting for surface ship support. 
Mr. Ingram: A review of surface ship support arrangements concluded that the best way of achieving a sustainable, efficient and affordable surface ship support market for the future would be through the formation of an alliance. This was announced on 14 February 2006 and we are now working to take this forward. Agreement was reached in principle shortly after the announcement with the prospective Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) partners (Devonport Management Ltd., Babcock International Group and Fleet Support Ltd.) on the work-share for the autumn 2006 upkeep packages. These packages of work will not be contracted under the yet-to-be-agreed alliance umbrella, but will instead form part of an initial test of principle for the alliance concept. Subject to affordability and this work continuing to offer best value when set against the Departments other priorities, it is intended to enter into contracts within the next few months.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has received on the extent to which surplus military equipment disposed of to non-governmental purchasers has been (a) exported and (b) used in hostilities overseas. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence disposes of a wide range of surplus military equipment and extensive rules and regulations govern the disposal of specific items. There is no single set of general rules relating to the disposal of equipment to non-government purchasers.
It is, however, departmental policy that the contract of sale for any item will include terms and conditions covering re-use and eventual disposal as appropriate. All sensitive equipment is routinely demilitarised before sale, and any equipment that cannot be sold is disposed of or recycled in an environmentally sound manner. In addition, there are many types of military equipment that are not sold to the public as a matter of policy.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to ensure that there is no reduction in the number of university air squadrons and the level of flying training they provide. 
Mr. Watson: There is no intention to reduce the number of university air squadrons. The hon. Member will be aware that a study has recently been commissioned to determine the optimum number and preferred locations of university air squadrons' air experience flights, which deliver their flying training.
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