§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the dossier of information on the health effects of nuclear testing in the 1950s atomic test programme at Christmas Island, a copy of which has been sent to him. 
§ Mr. Spellar
I assume my hon. Friend is referring to a letter fromThe People newspaper dated 13 January 1998, addressed to the Secretary of State for Defence, which enclosed copies of their recent articles about nuclear test veterans and letters from a small number of ex-Servicemen who had served on Christmas Island in the 1950s–60s. The letter invited a response on nuclear test veteran issues, with particular reference to work carried out at Dundee University.
'My officials responded to the newspaper on 6 February. The reply drew attention to the fact that the studies carried out by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) had proved conclusively that participation in the testing programme had not had a detectable effect on the participants' expectation of life or on their risk of developing cancer or other fatal diseases: and also referred to those matters which were covered in my response to my hon. Friend on 22 January 1998, Official Report, columns 625–26.