Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason a direct fire capability prevents a rocket with a sub-munition capability from being defined as a cluster munition, with particular reference to the CRV-7 MPSM rocket; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The cluster munitions of humanitarian concern are those fired in the indirect role, whereas certain sub-munition variants are direct fire weapon systems. In the direct fire role the firing crew has line of sight from the platform to the target and has a sophisticated target identification and acquisition system to aid discrimination. In seeking the balance between humanitarian concern and military necessity the UKs definition of cluster munitions therefore excludes direct fire systems.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Bills introduced by his Department in the last five years have contained sunset clauses; and what plans he has for the future use of such clauses. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence has introduced only one Bill (which became the Armed Forces Act 2006) in the last five years that contains a time limit which may be regarded as a sunset clause. The clause continues the previous practice of making the main legislation governing the armed forces subject to a requirement for annual renewal by Order in Council approved by Parliament and for renewal by Act of Parliament every five years. This accords with the procedure which Parliament has adopted for this legislation in the past.
The Armed Forces Pay and Compensation Act 2004
The Armed Forces Act 2006
The 2006 Act contains a time limit which may be regarded as a form of sunset clause. The clause continues the previous practice of making the main legislation governing the armed forces subject to a requirement for annual renewal by Order in Council approved by Parliament and for renewal by Act of Parliament every five years.
Derek Twigg: The information requested on how much the Department paid in fees to recruitment agencies for temporary workers and permanent staff in each year since 1997 is not held centrally. It could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria have been established for assessing the success of the Community Based Mental Health Service for Veterans pilot scheme; what the cost is for (a) the national roll-out of the service and (b) the pilots; and what alternatives for the delivery of the service have been considered. 
Derek Twigg: A process and outcome evaluation of the pilots over their two-year duration is an integral part of the project. The key measures, advised on by national clinical experts, will be the assessment and treatment regimes provided, and the patient (and carer) experience and outcomes.
The costs of running the pilot scheme are not yet available as negotiations for the funding of individual sites are still continuing between the MOD, the Department of Health and NHS trusts. The cost of rolling out the scheme nationwide will depend on the outcomes of the pilots.
The proposed service is advised on by clinical and health care experts and reflects the long established intention that veterans health care is primarily a matter for the NHS. Using NHS best practice and processes, veterans-sensitive evidence-based interventions will be delivered by public, private or charitable providers. These will be modified as necessary in the light of the pilot evaluation.
In addition, we have recently announced the expansion of our Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) based at St Thomas Hospital, London, to include assessment of veterans with mental health symptoms with operational service from 1982 (including veterans of the Falklands campaign). The clinician in charge is a recently retired service military psychiatrist, who will provide support and advice to GPs and other civilian health professionals where the individual is concerned that the service background of their condition may not have been understood within the NHS or where the health professional is seeking expertise on the assessment or treatment of a veterans condition.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the case for establishing a public inquiry to examine illnesses resulting from the Gulf War; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: It has been the Governments policy since 1997 to be open and transparent about Gulf veterans issues, including the publication of all relevant documents. We have identified and published the lessons of the past, accepting that mistakes were made in 1990-91, particularly with regard to medical record keeping. The Governments view is that there are no substantive issues to be addressed by a public inquiry and that, in particular, it would not help to resolve the long outstanding issue of why veterans are ill; only scientific research might do this. We have funded a substantial programme of research designed to address the key candidate causes so far put forward, but recognising that it would not be sensible to duplicate work being undertaken elsewhere.
Grade for charge is broken down on amenities and location. Grade for charge 1 would be accommodation that is close to all amenities. Grade 4 would be properties further away. This differs from standard for conditions, which relates to the physical condition of the property.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The physical seizure of cocaine on Royal Navy interdiction operations is conducted by personnel from relevant local law enforcement agencies embarked on Royal Naval vessels. Once retrieved, the cocaine becomes the responsibility of the relevant law enforcement agency.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) destroyers, (b) frigates and (c) attack submarines (i) currently deployed and (ii) available for short-notice deployment with the fleet. 
As my predecessor made clear in his letter of 6 March 2007, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, it is not MOD policy to publish details of the readiness states of individual RN vessels or types. I am not prepared, therefore, to provide details of vessels available for short-notice deployments.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with planning for the use of dual crews for warships; and in respect of which classes of warships it is being considered. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 25 July 2007]: The Royal Navy is conducting trials and experimentation programmes to help determine optimal manning solutions, both in the short and mid to longer term, that will maximise the contribution to defence by enabling ships to remain deployed for extended periods, while minimising the impact on personnel. These programmes include swapping ships companies of HMS Edinburgh and HMS Exeter (Type 42 destroyers), and several Mine Counter Measure Vessels; and providing temporary relief for some personnel on the extended deployment of HMS Sutherland and HMS Monmouth (Type 23 frigates). The trials are continuing.
|RAF Brize Norton
In the process of answering this question, it has become apparent that some of the figures provided in response to the hon. Members parliamentary question of 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 1359W, were incorrect.
Unfortunately there were errors in the source documentation for the 2004, 2005 and 2007 figures for repatriations held by Headquarters Air Command. A figure for 2005 was inadvertently reflected in 2004. Also, the figures for 2006 did not include the 14 personnel who were killed in the Nimrod XV230 crash in September 2006. This was because the repatriation ceremony for these personnel was held at RAF Kinloss, but because their bodies were repatriated through, and returned to, RAF Brize Norton, with hindsight it is clear that they should have been included.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) initial resource provision, (b) in-year variation and (c) resource outturn was for the RAF Personnel Management Agency in each financial year since 1997. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The RAF Personnel Management Agency relinquished Government agency status at the start of financial year 2004-05. Therefore budgetary information for that agency is only available up to the financial year 2003-04.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of Territorial Army (TA) posts which will not be filled as a result of the decision to freeze recruiting in some TA units; and what proportion of TA manpower this represents; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2007, Official Report, column 1769W, on reserve forces: recruitment, which Territorial Army units have a recruitment freeze; and what the (a) establishment and (b) current manning level is of each, broken down by (i) rank and (ii) appointment. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is not possible to provide the information requested, as the details of measures limiting the strength of selected Territorial Army units have not yet been finalised. However, I can assure the hon. Member that a rigorous process involving a wide range of army stakeholders is currently assessing the likely impact of these measures and ensuring that coherence and effectiveness are maintained. I will write to the hon. Member with the results of that process once it is complete and will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.