HC Deb 08 March 1996 vol 273 cc371-2W
Mr. Churchill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much compensation has been paid since 1966 to the Australian Government or nationals by Her Majesty's Government in respect of claims by or on behalf of persons who suffered death or injury as a consequence of the United Kingdom's atomic weapons test programme in Australasia in the 1950s. [18880]

Mr. Soames

[holding answer 4 March 1996]: As announced to the House on 10 December 1993, Official Report, column 421, the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as a contribution to the cost of the further clean-up of the Maralinga site. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. We understand, however, that since then the Australian Government have paid no compensation to anyone claiming to have been injured by radiation from the British nuclear test programme.