Results 21–40 of 1000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Drayson

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: Having been on the receiving end of a leak earlier this week, I know exactly what the noble Earl means, but it is important that the general public and this House are aware of exactly what the Prime Minister said. I turn to the impact of funding on safety. A number of noble Lords, including the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, raised the issue of the Nimrod failure and the report by...

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I will certainly write to noble Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord King, requests. I will make a further short point. It is important to recognise that the United States military has a different view of the method of operations using helicopters. It has a concept of air cavalry that is not shared by our military. That is why there is a significant difference between the provision of...

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I understand the point that the noble and gallant Lord makes. However, I did not quote a figure relating to helicopter hours. It is important for the House to recognise the progress that has been made; but at the same time, it is not right for a Minister at this Dispatch Box to comment on decisions about types of military operations. Ministers take decisions based on military...

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: I think that my noble friend is alluding to the point that several military commanders—this includes the Chief of the Defence Staff—while saying that we can never have enough helicopters, have also said that helicopters are not a panacea. I go back to the central point of my opening speech. It is very important that, in having an open and well informed debate on the complexity of issues...

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: I am coming on to answer the noble Lord's point. The noble Earl, Lord Onslow, the noble Lords, Lord Freeman and Lord Astor, and the noble Baroness, Lady Park, have all raised serious concerns relating to combat stress and, in particular, suicide of former members of our Armed Forces. I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence has commissioned a study by Manchester University into the subject....

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, asked a specific question relating to pilots. I can confirm that the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy are recruiting and training sufficient personnel to maintain the level of helicopter pilots for the Chinook fleet as required by the helicopter pilots' school. The noble Lord, Lord Lee, asked a specific question relating to the Cutlass project. This...

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: I am grateful to the noble Baroness for making that point and for the opportunity to confirm the importance of the matter that she raised.

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: I will write to the noble and gallant Lord with an answer to that question. Motion agreed.

Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy — Motion to Take Note (6 Nov 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to open this debate, but, first, I am sure that noble Lords will join me in offering sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of Warrant Officer Darren Chant, Sergeant Matthew Telford, and Guardsman James Major of the Grenadier Guards, and Corporal Steven Boote and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith of the Royal Military Police, who...

Defence Acquisition — Statement (19 Oct 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I hear what the noble Earl says, but did he ask me a question?

Defence Acquisition — Statement (19 Oct 2009)

Lord Drayson: I say, seriously, that the noble Earl is asking the right question. It is to the credit of the previous Secretary of State that he asked for this review, which constitutes a true pulling up of the carpet in having a look at this process. It is to the credit of the present Secretary of State that he has accepted this very critical report in its entirety and that the department has accepted its...

Defence Acquisition — Statement (19 Oct 2009)

Lord Drayson: I begin by saying how much I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Astor, when he states that our Armed Forces surely deserve the best equipment and that the taxpayer deserves the best value for money. They absolutely do. In response to the point from the noble Lord, Lord Lee, about the scale of the problem that we face, I accept that this report shows that in stark relief. Taking into account the...

Defence Acquisition — Statement (19 Oct 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat a Statement made in another place by my right honourable friend the Defence Secretary. The Statement is as follows: "With permission, Mr Speaker, I wish to make a Statement on defence acquisition. In December 2008, my predecessor asked Bernard Gray to undertake a review to identify improvements that we could make in the acquisition of...

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the Government are delighted that Britain has its first official astronaut and applauds ESA for picking the best man for the job. The UK is the fourth largest contributor to the European Space Agency budget. Our focus is to get the most out of that investment for UK science and industry.

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the Government spend approximately £260 million a year on civil space research. We believe that that is an appropriate amount and that we get a tremendous return for that investment. It generates, for example, more than £6.5 billion of turnover for the UK within the UK space industry. We recognise that manned space exploration is important but we believe that by focusing our...

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord explains exactly the issue relating to the way in which we organise the investment in space. We have now launched a consultation to assess whether the current arrangements, whereby we have pooled funding from a number of different departments into the NSC, could be organised through an agency status to give better clarity and to strengthen our position in negotiation...

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, my noble friend makes a good point in that manned space exploration is extraordinarily expensive but it provides extraordinary benefits too, as has been very thoroughly reviewed over the past few days on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings. I agree with my noble friend that the current policy of the UK Government of concentrating our investment in areas of scientific...

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I disagree with the noble Lord in that I believe that the benefits which accrue to mankind from manned space exploration outweigh the potential drawbacks. I recognise the risks—they are taken very seriously—but I believe that the way in which the world has remembered what happened 40 years ago yesterday brings into focus the real importance to the human race in continuing...

European Space Programme — Question (21 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as my noble friend is well aware, the Treasury looks at everything. I can reassure him that the Treasury has looked very carefully at the science budget. However, I repeat what I said in one of my earlier answers: we believe that the investment that we are making at the moment, some £260 million per year, is the appropriate level of investment. That makes us the fourth largest...

Higher Education: Universities — Question (14 Jul 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, there has been an unprecedented increase in applications to higher education, with a 45,000 increase this year from UK and EU-domiciled applicants to English universities. The Government are exploring all the options to ensure that as many students as are able and have the appropriate qualifications can benefit from a university education.


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