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Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any individuals arrested and detained by UK armed forces in Iraq and subsequently transferred to (a) US authorities and (b) Iraqi authorities may be subsequently transferred to the authority of another state, including detention in another country, without the prior written agreement of the UK. 
Des Browne [holding answer 18 December 2006]: No individual arrested and detained by UK forces in Iraq will be transferred to US authorities without prior written agreement governing the terms and conditions of such transfer.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the UK contingent of the Multinational Force in Iraq and the Iraqi Ministries of Justice and Interior governing
the transfer of individuals detained in Iraq by UK forces contains no provisions on the possible further transfer of such persons. However, the Constitution of Iraq prevents the Government of Iraq from surrendering any Iraqi national to foreign entities and authorities.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many cases of abuse, ill treatment or death of Iraqi detainees involving British troops are (a) being investigated by the Royal Military Police and (b) being considered for prosecution; 
Des Browne: Since the start of operations in Iraq in 2003, 41 investigations have been conducted by the Royal Military Police into the alleged abuse, ill treatment or death of Iraqi detainees. Of these, 35 cases have been closed due to insufficient evidence, two cases have been dealt with by courts-martial, one case is currently being tried by general court-martial at Bulford, one case has been dealt with summarily by the Commanding Officer and two investigations are ongoing.
Of the 35 cases closed due to insufficient evidence, 32 have been closed with no further action recommended; two cases were referred to the Army Prosecuting Authority who decided not to institute court-martial proceedings; the remaining case went to court-martial, which was stayed and then referred to the Crown Prosecuting Authority which decided not to prefer charges.
The Royal Military Police (Special Investigation Branch) is currently carrying out investigations that involve one officer and three other ranks from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment and its successor, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. However, none of these investigations are Iraq-related.
Des Browne: UK military personnel use non-lethal weapons primarily on public order operations such as crowd control, when the safety of personnel needs to be protected but the use of lethal force would not be appropriate. This role has been fulfilled in Northern Ireland in support of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and in overseas operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. Depending on circumstances, UK military personnel may use batons, plastic baton rounds and CS smoke.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2006, Official Report, column 882W, on non-lethal operations, what the policy reasons are for non-lethal spray type weapons not being routinely carried by British forces during operations. 
Mr. Ingram: Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, non-lethal spray weapons such as CS smoke may only be used for law enforcement, including domestic riot control purposes and are therefore unsuitable for use on many types of operations carried out by British forces.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether simulations and experiments at the strategic Sandia laboratories in New Mexico were carried out in support of the UKs Trident missile system; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Under the terms of the 1958 UK/US Mutual Defence Agreement (Cm 537, as amended), the Ministry of Defence and the Atomic Weapons Establishment maintain collaborative contact with Sandia National Laboratories, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and the Los Alamos National Laboratories.
This contact, which may include the placement of specific work packages with the US facilities by or on behalf of HMG, principally relates to the stockpile stewardship programmes that ensure the continued safety and reliability of the UKs nuclear weapons stockpile. I am withholding further details of such activities as their release would, or would be likely to, prejudice national security.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there will be an increase in his Department's budget to finance the new nuclear deterrent proposed in the White Paper The future of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to paragraph B-14 of The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, (1) what level of investment in research and development there will be on effective counter-measures to monitor submarine movements; 
(2) whether the cost of investment in research and development on effective counter-measures to monitor submarine movements is included in the estimated operating cost of 5 to 6 per cent. of his Department's budget. 
Our overall strategy for investment in research and development is set out in the Defence Technology Strategy, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The technologies relevant to ensuring effective counter-measures to attempted
monitoring of submarine movement have been identified as priorities in both the Cross-Cutting Technologies section (B2) and the Maritime section (Bl1). The MOD invests in these technologies for anti-submarine warfare and, under current plans, will continue an appropriate level of investment.
No specific allowance has been made for the costs of such continuing investment in the estimate of the expected in-service costs of the UK's nuclear deterrent once a new fleet of SSBNs comes into service, set out at paragraph 5-14 of the White Paper: The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994), although the estimate makes allowance for the cost of mid-life update of the submarines and also for financial risks and uncertainties.
It would be our intention to build the new SSBNs [ballistic missile submarines] in the UK, for reasons of national sovereignty, nuclear regulation, operational effectiveness and safety, and maintenance of key skills.
The outcome of discussions with the US on future co-operation in this area is set out in the exchange of letters between the Prime Minister and President of the United States, published on 19 December 2006. Copies of the letters are available in the Library of the House.
|December 1997||November 2006( 1,2)|
|(1) December 2006 figures have not yet been compiled, hence data for November 2006 are provided.|
(2) Due to a new personnel administration system being introduced to the naval service during October 2006, the figures for November 2006 are provisional and subject to revision.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy personnel were (a) overpaid and (b) underpaid by Joint Personnel Administration in the first two months of roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the roll-out of Joint Personnel Administration to the Royal Navy. 
Derek Twigg: In November 9,618 Royal Navy (RN) personnel were overpaid. 9,209 of these were due to the application of an incorrect tax rate resulting in overpayments averaging £200 per individual; the remaining 409 errors were for RN reservists who were paid twice for training nights. Both of these errors were corrected in December payroll.
In addition some 2,289 cases of RN underpayment were identified. 1,889 of these were due to an existing issue with payroll scheduling which was not identified until the RN release: some 1,678 Royal Air Force personnel were also affected by this underpayment issue, the average value of which was £50 to £100 per person. All identified errors have been corrected in the December pay run. Of the remaining underpayments, 400 new recruits were delayed payments due to incorrect data entry at the recruiting units but these errors along with those for 71 reserve officer payments resulting from a Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system error, were corrected in month.
The Ministry of Defence has centrally compiled and verified records of coroner-confirmed suicides or open verdict deaths among UK service personnel up to 31 December 2005. Between 18 January 2003 and 31 December 2005, there were 17 coroner-confirmed suicides or open verdict deaths among UK regular armed forces deployed on Operation Telic since 18 January 2003. This includes deaths both in theatre and since their return, among the approximate 100,000 personnel deployed during this period. During this period, there were a further 40 suicides or open verdict deaths among those who were not deployed on Operation Telic. Verdicts have yet to be reached for 19 other deaths thought to be due to violent or unnatural causes (excluding accidents), six of
which involve personnel who were deployed on Operation Telic during this period.
These data represent a crude rate of 8.7 suicides and open verdict deaths per 100,000 person-years-at-risk for those who were deployed at some time to Operation Telic. This compares to a rate of 12.7 suicides and open verdict deaths per 100,000 person-years-at-risk among those who were not deployed to Operation Telic. The difference between these two rates is not statistically significant.
It is not possible to distinguish between those who saw active service in Iraq from those deployed on Operation Telic who were based in other countries of the Joint Operational Area. Although there has been one case among the reservists in theatre, information on reservists is not available after they have been demobilised following their return to the UK.
There have been no coroner-confirmed suicides or open verdict deaths in Afghanistan among personnel deployed there. Information on deaths among these personnel since their return from theatre is not currently available.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) in service, (b) fit for purpose and (c) available for immediate deployment (i) C-17A Globemaster, (ii) Hercules C-130, (iii) Tristar and (iv) VC10 fleets there are. 
|Aircraft type||Total fleet planned to be in service FY 2006-07||Numbers of aircraft fit for purpose (average for November 2006)( 1)|
|(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.|
(2) Does not reflect the loss of XV206 in Afghanistan on 24 May 2006 or the retirement of four aircraft during FY 2006-07.
Aircraft that are available for immediate deployment are fit for purpose; they are capable of undertaking the required task on a given day. Aircraft are not available for tasking if they are undergoing scheduled maintenance, modification programmes or any other unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day-to-day basis. The figures do not reflect the fact that an aircraft assessed as not fit for purpose may be returned to the front line at very short notice to meet the operational need.
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence does not hold data on the number of veterans entitled to receive the Veterans Badge by parliamentary constituency. However, I can confirm that approximately 3,000 badges have been issued to veterans who reside in Nottinghamshire.
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