§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the number of merchant vessels chartered for use in military exercises or operations involving United Kingdom forces, indicating the flag nationality of those vessels and the total cost of these charters, for each of the last seven years. 
§ Mr. Soames
Total figures for the period before 1992 could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. The number of merchant vessels chartered for use in military exercises/operations involving United Kingdom forces over the period 1992–1997 are as follows:
Thirty five vessels were chartered—20 Danish, seven German, two Norwegian, two Swedish, one Dutch, one Luxembourg, one Bahamian, one Italian—at a total cost of £12,067,580.
Twenty six vessels were chartered—nine Swedish, nine Danish, three Norwegian, two German, one French, one Luxembourg, one Spanish—at a total cost of £5,495,841.
Ten vessels were chartered—seven Danish, one Norwegian, one German, one Spanish—at a total cost of £2,369,569.
Thirty five vessels were chartered—nine Danish, four Spanish, four German, three Maltese, three Norwegian, two Swiss, two Greek, two Ukrainian, one British, one Polish, one Panamanian, one Italian, one Finnish, one Dutch—at a total cost of £9,779,266.
Forty three vessels were chartered—seven Norwegian, seven Ukrainian, four Danish, four German, four Bahamian, four Swiss, two Panamanian, two maltese, two Finnish, two Polish, one Swedish, one Liberian, one Italian, one Cypriot, one Spanish—at a total cost of £15,569,937.
1997 (up to 28 February)
Three vessels have been chartered so far—two Danish and one Swiss—at a total cost of £631,966.
Some vessels may have been chartered on more than one occasion.