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Defence

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who authorised the issue of his Department’s background paper, entitled Scotland and Defence published on 8 March 2010; when the paper was commissioned; who was consulted as part of the preparation of the paper; what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) producing and (b) printing the paper; and what steps his Department took to publicise the paper upon publication. (321967)

The paper was produced by the Scotland Office to provide a factual analysis of the position to help inform debate. It was prepared over the last few months and a number of Ministry of Defence officials were consulted during its drafting to check facts and figures. The paper was agreed to, and the final draft approved by, Defence Ministers.

As the paper was part of the ongoing work of the Scotland Office, there were no additional, costs involved in its production or printing. It was subsequently made available on the Scotland Office website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether special advisers in his Department were involved in the drafting of the background paper, entitled Scotland and Defence. (321968)

Special advisers in the Scotland Office, work with the Permanent Civil Service, and provide advice and assistance to Ministers across the range of their activities in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which defence establishments in Scotland he has visited since (a) taking office in October 2008 and (b) commissioning the background paper, entitled Scotland and Defence. (321969)

I have visited a wide range of defence-related establishments throughout Scotland since taking office, including RAF Kinloss, Rosyth dockyard, the shipbuilding yards at Govan and the missile ranges at Uist, where I announced the ranges would remain open for business.

I also visited the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at their base in Fallingbostel in Germany as well as welcoming the Black Watch back to Edinburgh following the end of their most recent tour in Afghanistan. I have also been actively involved in visits to defence-related organisations such Erskine and the Army Benevolent Fund and attended Armed Forces Day in Glasgow last year.

In addition, have visited a number of defence manufacturers including:

Babcock International Group plc

BVT

QinetiQ

SELEX Galileo

Thales Optronics UK

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his Department’s paper entitled Scotland and Defence has been discussed at Cabinet. (321970)

Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice and the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed, as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.