§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many personnel were deployed on the mountain and cold weather exercise in Romania carried out between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 1998; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the principal benefits of the mountain and cold weather exercise in Romania carried out between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 1998. 
§ Mr. Spellar
A company of 100 personnel from 42 Commando conducted late autumn training in Romania during October 1997. I understand that some 60 Romanian personnel also participated in the exercise. This was the third annual deployment by the Royal Marines to Brasov in the Carpathian mountains. This exercise enabled the Royal Marines to continue to develop their mountain and cold weather operational capability, and also gave them an excellent opportunity to conduct environmental training outside the usual NATO training areas. A further significant benefit was to further the United Kingdom's bilateral defence relationship with Romania, which has developed significantly in recent years, through joint training and patrolling exercises with Romanian mountain troops.