HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc177-8W
Mr. Swayne

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) pursuant to his answer of 12 December 2001,Official Report, column 861W, on prisoners of war in the Far East, if he will state the assumptions on which budgetary provision was made for his ex-gratia payment scheme for former British civilian internees of the Japanese; [23768]

(2) if he will place in the Library the (a) working assumptions and (b) calculations that his Department made regarding the number of potential claimants in respect of the ex-gratia scheme for former civilian internees of the Japanese. [23769]

Dr. Moonie

When the scheme was announced on 7 November 2000,Official Report, columns 159–70W, I advised the House that it was estimated that up to 16,700 people might be eligible for the ex-gratia payment for former Far East prisoners. This figure was the best estimate available and was based on an assessment of the numbers of those who had been held captive in each of the groups covered by the scheme and of the likely number of surviving members of those groups or surviving spouses where the former prisoner had subsequently died. The data were gathered from official records and from the associations representing former Far East prisoners. The estimate made for the number of surviving civilian internees and surviving spouses of deceased internees was 3,700 based on data provided by the Association of British Civilian Internees—Far East Region.

I am withholding the further detail requested under Exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

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