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Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister when he was first informed by British Intelligence that Iraq had attempted to procure uranium from Africa. [125003]

The issue of how intelligence information was used in the production of the UK Government's dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction published in September 2002 is currently being addressed by the Intelligence and Security Committee of the House. Their report on their findings will be published in due course.

To ask the Prime Minister when and by whom he was first informed that the dossier which he presented to the House on 3 February (a) had been released to journalists and (b) was not predominantly intelligence material. [125083]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir John Stanley) on 24 June 2003, Official Report, columns 652–53.

To ask the Prime Minister which Government (a) official and (b) Minister took the decision to insert the assertion that such weapons could be deployed in 45 minutes in (i) the foreword to, (ii) the executive summary of, and (iii) the draft of his speech to the House, 24 September 2002, Official Report, column 3, on the September 2002 dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. [125189]

The dossier, including the executive summary, was drafted by the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and his staff, and they were responsible for including the 45 minutes intelligence. The foreword was prepared by my staff in Downing street in the normal way. It was signed off by me, but members of the JIC had the opportunity to comment on it. My speech to the House of Commons was written in the normal way and reflected what was in the September 2002 dossier which was being debated in the House on 24 September 2002.

To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the situation of the uranium derivatives looted from the Tuwaitha nuclear complex in Iraq. [125236]

A team of investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency's safeguards division carried out an examination of the al-Tuwaitha site last month. The report of their findings has not yet been published.

To ask the Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had on the state of Iraqi schools. [125244]

Rehabilitating Iraq's education system is a Coalition priority. The Coalition Provisional Authority has been working with the Iraqi Ministry of Education, UNICEF and UNESCO to get schools back up and running as quickly as possible. Funding is also being made available through US Agency for International Development contractors to rehabilitate 6,000 schools and provide school equipment. Plans are being made to provide teaching materials to all primary schools by the start of the school year in mid-September. UNICEF is assisting the organisation of national terminal exams for primary, intermediate and secondary students.By the end of June, 98 per cent. of all schools in Iraq had reopened and around 4.5 million children had taken end of year exams. A further 1 million children will take exams in July.

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer to the Liaison Committee on 8 July, if he will make a further statement on intelligence received relating to Iraq seeking to obtain uranium from Niger since the end of the first Gulf war in 1991 which is deemed valid. [125711]

The assessment that Iraq sought uranium from Niger drew on intelligence from more than one source, including non-documentary intelligence. We agree with the IAEA that some of the documents they hold are forgeries. However, others may be genuine. The Government are keeping the situation under review.