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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): A contract was signed on 15 July 2004, with Lockheed Martin for the first increment of the Joint Asset Management and Engineering Solution (JAMES 1).
The main benefit is that JAMES will enable the maintenance of operational capability during and following the reduction in land vehicle fleet sizes which will occur with the introduction of new equipment and of technical upgrades to existing equipment. Failure to
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manage these fleets centrally though a management information system such as JAMES would lead either to a reduction of training capability or the need to acquire more equipment.
Whether the Ministry of Defence used the United States Department of Defense model in its estimates of the possible exposure of British troops to fall-out from the demolition of the Khamisiyah arms bunkers; and what other models, if any, were used. [HL4321]
Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) paper published in December 1999 entitled Review of Events Concerning 32 Field Hospital and the Release of Nerve Agent Arising From US Demolition of Iraqi Munitions at the Khamisiyah Depot In March 1991 took account of the United States Department of Defense's (DoD) modelling of the possible levels of exposure following the demolition of the weapons store at Khamisiyah. The paper also included our scientists' own assessment based on the US modelling. MoD plans to publish its own final assessment of the destruction of chemical warfare rockets at Khamisiyah by the end of the year. This will take account of the modelling work undertaken by the Department of Defense as well as the United States General Accounting (now Accountability) Office.
Whether the United Kingdom was represented at the Meeting of European Union Defence Ministers held in September 2004 at which it was agreed to establish a European Gendarmerie Force; and whether the United Kingdom is willing to contribute to such a force. [HL4454]
Lord Bach: The European Gendarmerie Force is not an EU force, but a multilateral initiative by five countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal) to create between them a joint paramilitary police force which could be made available to EU, NATO or UN operations. There are many multinational Force structures in Europe (such as Eurofor and SEEBRIG), involving different combinations of countries, which can be made available to the EU or NATO in this way. As the UK does not have paramilitary police, we are not a member of the European Gendarmerie Force.
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The participating countries used the meeting of EU Defence ministers in September as an opportunity to sign a five-nation declaration of intent and to brief others on their initiative. The UK was represented at that meeting by the Secretary of State for Defence.
What are their reasons for accepting the right of petition for women under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women while refusing to accept the right of petition for members of ethnic minorities under the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. [HL4085]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs, (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): As I explained in my Answer to the noble Lord on 16 September (WA 201), the Government believe that the practical value to UK citizens of individual petition to the United Nations is unclear. They also have concerns about the levels of cost to public funds if individual petition were used extensively to explore the meaning of the provisions of a treaty. For these reasons they have decided to accede only to the right of individual petition under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to enable it to consider the merits of individual petition on a more empirical basis.
Whether they plan to relocate Eurostar's United Kingdom maintenance and servicing facility from North Pole (London) to Temple Mills; and, if so, what use or uses are planned for the vacated sites. [HL4436]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Discussions are continuing with London and Continental Railways, English Welsh and Scottish Railway and other landowners and occupiers about proposals for a depot at Temple Mills. It is too early to say what other uses might be made of the land at North Pole should the depot there no longer be required.
How much money is devolved each year by the Government and the private sector to strategic railway research on future energy sources (such as hydrogen power), advanced train control systems (such as cab-based signalling), and telematics (such as passenger ticketing, inquiry and information systems). [HL4461]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Details of funding dedicated to such specific research activity is not collected centrally. Information on government-funded science, engineering and technology is published periodically by the Office of Science and Technology. The latest edition, The Forward Look 2003: Government-funded science, engineering and technology is available from the Library of House.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The guidance issued to departments in the Cabinet Office's Guide to Legislative Procedures, states that the target of response within two months, as is usual for Commons committees, should apply to reports of Joint Committees on draft Bills, though it notes that the committee may be willing to allow longer, perhaps to fit in with the timetable for introduction of the Bill.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government launched a public health consultation, Choosing Health? which covers a wide range of issues including smoking. Representatives of the hospitality industry and their views and proposals about how health may be improved were included in an extensive range of consultations. The Government's conclusions on this matter will be covered in the forthcoming White Paper.
How much public funding has been allocated to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in each of the past five years; and whether they intend to review the basis of that funding as a result of the BPAS's collaboration in sending pregnant women to foreign countries for abortions which would be illegal under British legislation. [HL4398]
Lord Warner: The Department of Health has not provided any funding to British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in the last five years. We do not collect data on the amount of money BPAS receives through its contracts with primary care trusts.
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