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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 72W, regarding Porton Down, which agencies conducted the searches of his Department's archives; what the locations were of the archives which were searched; and if he will make a statement.
Searches of the Department's archives at the Public Record Office, the Imperial War Museum, the Ministry of Defence main archive at Hayes, and documents held by MOD in London and at Porton Down, have been conducted by staff at MOD and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Porton Down.
In addition, two signals have been sent requesting service units to search their own archives for relevant documents. The first, in February 2001, was sent to all service units world wide. The second, in April 2002, was sent to all RAF units in the United Kingdom. Both signals were sent in collaboration with the Wiltshire police as part of Operation Antler, their investigation of the Porton Down Service Volunteer programme.
The Wiltshire police have also conducted independent searches of the Department's archives.