HC Deb 07 February 1989 vol 146 cc673-4W
148. Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with the compensation claims of the nuclear test veterans; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury

The judgment by the House of Lords last year in the case of Mr. Melvyn Pearce made it possible for those who, like him, participated in the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons test programme in the Pacific, to pursue claims in the courts for damages. The Government cannot accept that the Crown is legally liable for the ill-health suffered by Mr. Pearce and others like him allegedly arising from their participation in the test programme, and proposes to contest the claims. Solicitors acting for both sides in the case of Mr. Pearce are currently discussing the disclosure of relevant documents for the purposes of litigation.

105. Dr. Moonie

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had about compensating those affected by British atomic weapons testing in Australia.

Mr. Sainsbury

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin).

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