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Whether they have set up an internal inquiry to establish the reasons for the decision not to make Ministers aware of the contents of the International Committee of the Red Cross February interim report to Ambassador Bremer on coalition facilities in Iraq; and whether they will publish the findings of any such inquiry. [HL2773]
Lord Bach: Ministers were made aware of the issues contained in the International Committee of the Red Cross interim report relating to United Kingdom armed forces, five months before they were made aware of the report. Ministers subsequently received an explanation of the handling of the full report. A formal internal inquiry has not been established.
Whether Iraqi senior officers, formerly members of the army under Saddam Hussein but now in charge of Iraqi troops reoccupying Fallujah, have been required to give undertakings to coalition senior commanders about the standards of behaviour to be observed towards prisoners and the population of Fallujah by Iraqi troops acting on behalf of the coalition. [HL2788]
Whether any allowance is made in assessing war pension claims from troops involved in the 199091 Gulf conflict, who are now presenting medically unexplained illnesses, for the Ministry of Defence's decision to plan the timing of their anthrax immunisation differently from that in the marketing authorisation and to give those troops fewer immunisations than were recommended. [HL2864]
Lord Bach: Under the rules of the war pension scheme, a pension may be awarded where, in the light of the facts of the individual case and of generally accepted scientific and medical understanding, there is a reasonable doubt that disablement is due to service in the Armed Forces. All proposed causal links are considered.
Lord Bach: The Government's defence industrial policy, published in October 2002, is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of the UK defence industry, while continuing to provide the Armed Forces with high quality equipment at best value for money. There are a very small number of capabilities which for national security reasons we place a high priority on retaining within the United Kingdom industrial base. Examples exist in the fields of nuclear technology, defence against biological, chemical and radiological warfare, and some counter-terrorist capabilities.
Whether the planned two new aircraft carriers will be designed to use the conventionally launched variant of the joint strike fighter if the manufacture of the short take-off and landing variant does not proceed. [HL3038]
Lord Bach: As announced on 30 September 2002, the two new aircraft carriers will be configured to operate the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the joint strike fighter. The vessels will, however, be constructed to an innovative and adaptable design which will allow us, if required in the future, to modify the vessels from their STOVL configuration to facilitate conventional flight operations, such as for aircraft requiring catapult launch and arrested recovery.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The figures available are for the years 19942003. Data for 200304 are unavailable as the academic session has not yet concluded. The average tuition fee adjusted for inflation, in 200203 prices, for the years 19942003 paid to universities in England by overseas students (from outside the EU) based on data from HESA is as follows:
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Figures for funding per student in higher education in England are published annually in the Department for Education and Skills departmental report, copies of which are in the Library of the House. The latest report was published in April this year and shows planned public funding per student from 199899 to 200506.
Whether they have any policies or guidelines regarding upper age limits for a person starting a doctorate degree; and whether government funding arrangements for doctorate degrees have an impact on the financial status of higher education institutions which accept older doctorate students. [HL2907]
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Policies for selecting doctoral students are for individual higher education institutions to decide. Doctoral students can apply, in competition, for support from the research councils or the Arts and Humanities Research Board: neither the councils nor the board sets an upper age limit for support.
What percentage of pupils in schools outside school sport partnerships receive two hours of high quality physical education and school sport (a) within the curriculum; and (b) outside the curriculum. [HL3016]
What advice was given to schools regarding the inclusion of pupils' travel and changing times when responding to the first question in the physical education, school sport and club links survey booklet on the total curriculum time that all pupils spend taking part in physical education in a typical week. [HL3017]
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The guidance that accompanied the PE, school sport and club links survey 200304 advised schools that "curriculum time" was the total time provided for PE lessons during the school day. This included changing time but not travelling time.
What is their policy on building on best court practice in the management of the court review process for drug treatment and testing orders; and what are the findings of the results of the pilots in three court areas in England set up to evaluate good practice approaches. [HL2720]
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Lord Filkin): The policy is to build on best court practice being piloted at Bristol and the Wirral magistrates' courts, based on procedures already in operation at Nottingham magistrates' court, by extending these procedures to all magistrates' courts where there is a suitable workload this year.
The findings of the pilot so far are that the magistrates on the specialist panels are confident of the effectiveness of their training and in the effectiveness of drug treatment and testing orders, and of the improvement which has been achieved in their dealing with defendants in the review process. The evaluation of statistical data from the pilot will not be undertaken until after the first anniversary of its commencement in July 2004.
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