HC Deb 15 July 1982 vol 27 cc426-7W
Q50. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the latest position in the Falklands.

The Prime Minister

The final group of 593 Argentine prisoners of war were disembarked at Puerto Madryn in Argentina on 14 July.

The programme of immediate rehabilitation work is being pursued with urgency. Emergency repairs to essential services are largely complete. Equipment and materials for further reconstruction work are being acquired and shipped. A great deal remains to be done to make good the damage and loss caused by the Argentine invasion, and work will have to continue for several months yet.

I report with regret that 11 soldiers were injured at Port Stanley on the afternoon of 13 July, when an RAF Harrier inadvertently released two sidewinder missiles.

Sadly, two of the men are seriously ill, and four have had limbs amputated. Six men were from the Welsh Guards, four from 5 Brigade Signal Squadron, and one was a Royal Engineer.

A board of inquiry has already been set up, and its findings will be published as soon as they are available. The next of kin of all except one have now been informed. In the one remaining case the man's family have been informed in the absence of his next of kin.

Q37. Mr. Ray Powell

asked the Prime Minister whether she will, prior to the setting up of any inquiry, publish a White Paper listing each item of information received by Her Majesty's Government in the two weeks before the invasion of the Falkland Islands, relating to the preparations being made by Argentina.

The Prime Minister

No, but all the relevant information will be available to the inquiry.

Mr. Shersby

asked the Prime Minister whether, in calculating the entitlement of Falkland Islanders to compensation or grants for rehabilitation or community projects, Her Majesty's Government will exclude any receipts by them from the Falklands appeal.

The Prime Minister

I am not in a position to give my hon. Friend a full answer. But we shall naturally wish to avoid duplication of effort in respect of the wide range of work specified in my hon. Friend's question. But the level of Government aid will not be adjusted to take account of the scale of assistance which will be available through the Falklands appeal.

Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister whether, following the indisposition of Lord Franks, she proposes to make any changes to the arrangements for the Falkland Islands review.

The Prime Minister

No. The Government made the appointment in the knowledge that Lord Franks was due to have medical treatment which would mean that for a short time he would be unavailable, and on the understanding that he should proceed with that treatment.

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