§ Lord Jenkins of Putney
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their reaction to press suggestions that British servicemen and their children were damaged by the British nuclear bomb tests in Australia.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)
Her Majesty's Government remain confident that the British atmospheric nuclear weapon test prgrammes in Australia were conducted safely. This confidence is not shaken by the new claims of effects on children born to participants. However, the Ministry of Defence has commissioned a study by the National Radiological Protection Board to compare the mortality rate for participants with that of a similar group of servicemen and civilians who were not involved in the tests. The case for a further study to examine possible genetic effects must await the outcome.