04 Jun 09. Defence in the World: Debate. The House of Commons debated Defence in the World on 4 Jun 09, with the (then) Defence Secretary opening the debate and the (then) Armed Forces’ Minister summing-up. The Defence Secretary was clear that “we must first deal with the threats that we currently face; that is why Afghanistan is the priority for us and, I suspect, will be for some years ahead.”.
Comment: This rather lack-lustre debate is recorded in Hansard for 4 Jun 09, starting at Column 427. There was considerable anger that the debate had been allocated to a day when most Members were in their constituencies for elections. In the words of the Chairman of the Defence Committee, the debate was “an absolute disgrace” since “we are talking to an empty Public Gallery, an empty Press Gallery and an empty Chamber”. The same spokesman added: “We might as well not be here.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/22, 08 June 09)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 09 Jun 2009
Special Forces: Defence Equipment
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to provide for counter-sniper systems similar to those used by US forces in Iraq to be used by British armed forces. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: We do have a shot detection capability, the details of which I am withholding for reasons of operational security.
Special Forces: Finance
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take in respect of funding for the UK special forces in advance of the implementation of the rebalancing strategy for the armed forces. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is the long-standing policy of this and previous Governments not to comment on matters relating to UK special forces, as their disclosure would, or would likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 08 Jun 2009
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the estimate in the 2006 Defence White Paper that running costs of the proposed future deterrent would represent five to six per cent. of the defence budget included the costs of (a) conventional forces supporting the deterrent and (b) decommissioning replacement submarines. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The estimate of the running costs contained within the White Paper does not include an allocation for those occasions when conventional forces are used to support the deterrent but does include the initial decommissioning costs for the replacement submarines.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure his Department incurred on (a) leasing and (b) maintaining white fleet vehicles in the latest period for which figures are available; for what purposes his Department leases such vehicles; how many (i) civilians and (ii) service personnel have used his Department’s white fleet vehicles in the latest period for which figures are available; and for what purposes in each case. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has two lease agreements in place for the provision of the majority of non-operational cars, i.e. white fleet vehicles. During FY 2008-09 the provision of leased vehicles under the UK and British Forces Germany white fleet contracts cost the Department approximately £82 million. It is not possible to separate the cost of maintaining the leased vehicles because the daily rate charge for vehicle provision includes the cost to the contractor of procuring the vehicles, routine servicing and maintenance, the provision of a recovery service, eventual disposal of the vehicle, and administrative overheads incurred by the service provider. White fleet vehicles are leased for use in non-deployable administrative and support roles and transporting personnel and equipment. All MOD personnel, both military and civilian,