§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims have been received from citizens of Australia, people resident in Australia and the Australian Government for compensation in respect of injury caused by nuclear tests performed by the British Government or its agencies.
§ Mr. Pattie
No such claims have been received from the Australian Government. A small number of claims have been received from people resident in Australia, but as they are either ex-members of the United Kingdom forces, or their dependants, their claims are being handled by the Department of Health and Social Security under the provisions of the war pensions scheme.
§ Mr. Fatchett
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if Her Majesty's Government will give any assistance to the Australian Government's commission of inquiry into the medical effects of British nuclear tests in and around the Woomera testing ground; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Pattie
The Australian Government have announced their decision to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into certain aspects, including the protection of participants, of the British atmospheric nuclear test programme at Monte Bello island, Emu fields and840W Maralinga in Australia. Her Majesty's Government have assured the Australian Government of their full cooperation in assisting the work of the Royal Commission.
Arrangements are being made to place a copy of the commission's terms of reference in the Libraries of both Houses.