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16 Apr 2007 : Column 150W—continued

Provision of Defence Capability RfR1 totals
Estimate type Final outturn (£000)

DEL near cash


DEL non cash


Total DEL


AME near cash


AME non cash


Total AME


Non Budget near cash


Non Budget non cash


Total Non Budget


Total RFR1


The outturn for capital expenditure (Request for Resources 1 and 2) for the 2005-06 financial year is set out in tables 11 and 13 (pages 128 and 129) of the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts 2005-06 (HC 1394), which is also available on our website:

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what methodology is used to calculate the figures for Votes A maxima. [131734]

Mr. Ingram: Votes A maxima are based on previous data and known trends, and then a contingency is added to take account of in-year strength fluctuations. Under no circumstances should the Votes A maximum in any category be breached and it is for this reason that such contingency margins are required.

Departments: Publicity

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on (a) sponsoring newspaper or publication supplements and (b) funding advertorials in newspapers or publications in the latest year for which figures are available; and what the topic was of each publication. [129453]

Derek Twigg: The extent to which my Department sponsors newspaper or publication supplements and/or advertorials is restricted to the Armed Forces recruiting organisations:

Naval Service

12 advertorials were placed across the following magazines:

16 Apr 2007 : Column 151W


Double page spreads and full page advertorials were placed in the following publications:


Advertorials were placed in the following publications:

Departments: Repairs and Maintenance

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to public funds was of the recent refurbishment of his Department's building. [129721]

Derek Twigg: The physical refurbishment of the Department's main building cost £323 million (VAT exclusive) and has created a modern and efficient workspace capable of intensive use for the next 20 years and beyond.

Departments: Trade Unions

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many meetings (a) he and (b) his Department’s Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. [128765]

Derek Twigg: Defence Ministers held a total of 25 meetings with trade union representatives in 2006. The Secretary of State held five meetings, the Minister for the Armed Forces held six meetings, the Minister for Defence Procurement held 12 meetings. I held two meetings and my predecessors held two meetings.

Diego Garcia: USA

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 604W, on Diego Garcia: USA, on how many occasions since (a) the exchange of notes and (b) the updated exchange of notes the UK has (i) been asked and (ii) given approval for operations carried out by the United States from Diego Garcia. [131060]

Des Browne: The notes allow the US to use the base as a forward operating location for aircraft and ships. Over the last 40 years many thousands of flights and ship movements have taken place, each of which is subject to UK authorisation. Records of such authorisations are not maintained centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

EC Defence Policy

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the outcome of the EU Defence Ministers' meeting on 1 March. [131084]

16 Apr 2007 : Column 152W

Des Browne: The meeting in Wiesbaden on 1-2 March was an opportunity for EU Defence Ministers to discuss a range of issues, including ESDP operations and forthcoming civilian missions, EU-UN relations, military capabilities and the European Defence Agency. It was an informal meeting and, as such, no formal decisions were made.


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether any of the Eurofighters being sold to Saudi Arabia under the agreement announced in August 2006 are already in production; [106850]

(2) when he expects to answer question 106850, on Eurofighters, tabled by the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green on 28 November 2006. [130603]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave on 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 84W.

Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent White Paper

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will list the public meetings on the White Paper, “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) which (a) he and (b) other Ministers in his Department have attended since 4 December 2006; and who organised each meeting; [129114]

(2) if he will list the invitations to debate the Defence White Paper, “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) which his Department has turned down since 4 December 2006; from which organisations each invitation was received; and what the reason for declining the invitation was in each case. [129115]

Des Browne: The following table sets out which public events MOD Ministers have attended on the future of the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent since 4 December 2006:

16 Apr 2007 : Column 153W
Date Minister Event

22 January

Secretary of State

Progress (Think Tank) Debate

24 January

Minister (Defence Equipment and Support)

House of Lords debate

25 January

Secretary of State

Speech at King’s College, London

6 February

Secretary of State

Defence Select Committee evidence session

28 February

Secretary of State

More 4 debate

4 March

Secretary of State

St. Matthew’s Church, Kilmarnock

7 March

Secretary of State

RUSI debate

12 March

Minister (Defence Equipment and Support)

BBC 10 O’clock news

12 March

Minister (Defence Equipment and Support)

BBC Newsnight

14 March

Minister (Defence Equipment and Support)

BBC Radio 4 World at One

14 March

Secretary of State

House of Commons debate

The two parliamentary debates were organised by the Government. The remaining events were organised co-operatively between the Ministry of Defence and the respective hosts.

Ministers from other Departments have also discussed the future of the nuclear deterrent at both domestic and international public events. Ministers also took part in debates organised by the Labour party but these are not listed as they were party political events.

Since 4 December 2006, the only invitation I am aware of which was declined by MOD Ministers was received from the Oxford Research Group. The invitation was declined because it clashed with prior diary commitments.


Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) funds from his Department and (b) Regimental funds are available for spouses of retired Gurkha soldiers resident in the UK to learn English; and if he will make a statement. [130829]

Derek Twigg: The families of Gurkha soldiers benefit, whilst serving, from extensive welfare support services, including language and interpretation assistance where practicable, to help them integrate into UK society. Retired Gurkhas who have registered for the Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC) Scheme, in common with all discharged service personnel, may draw upon it for up to 10 years post discharge. The ELC scheme assists serving and retired soldiers to follow a course of study with an accredited provider, which leads to a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 3.

Harrier GR7

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which versions of the Harrier are operated by the Royal Air Force in Afghanistan; what the acquisition cost was of each aircraft; and what the average total operating cost is per hour of Harriers deployed in Afghanistan. [130014]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently six GR7 and two GR9 Harrier aircraft operating in Afghanistan.

In the time available it has not been possible to trace the cost paid for these aircraft when first acquired. Their average historical cost is approximately £14 million. This was the value of the aircraft when first entered on the MOD's fixed asset register in financial year 1997-98.

The total cost per funded flying hour across the Harrier fleet is approximately £37,000. This includes forward and depth servicing, fuel, the cost of one Flight Lieutenant pilot, training support costs and the cost of capital charge and depreciation.

16 Apr 2007 : Column 154W

Hercules Aircraft

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the fitting of kevlar matting to the cargo bays of Hercules aircraft. [127600]

Mr. Ingram: In order to protect our personnel on operations, it is the Ministry of Defence policy not to comment in detail about current or planned levels of air platform protection. We constantly monitor a range of factors including the threat, technology available and industrial capacity to ensure that our aircraft on operations are equipped with appropriate protection systems.

International Security Assistance Force

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much financial support each NATO member supplied to the International Security Assistance Force in each year since 2001. [131106]

Des Browne: NATO policy is that the costs of deploying forces as part of a NATO-led operation, including the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, are met nationally. The UK does not have the details of what costs were met by the 26 NATO and 11 non-NATO nations that have deployed troops with ISAF since 2001.

A relatively small proportion of operational costs are met from the NATO common fund, to which each NATO member contributes a percentage as follows:








Czech Republic










































United Kingdom


United States


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