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Herbicide 2,4,5-T

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what exchange of information has taken place between the United Kingdom Government and the Governments of the United States of America and of Australia, about the effects on Service men, or ex-Service men, of the defoliant 2,4,5-T and its later derivatives;

  • (2) whether any claims for war or disability pensions have been made by British Service men who have served in the counter-insurgency campaigns in Malaya and came into contact with the defoliant 2,4,5-T;
  • (3) whether any research has been carried out on the subsequent medical history of British soldiers who served in the counter-insurgency campaign in Malaya and came into contact with the defoliant 2,4,5-T;
  • (4) whether the medical services of the Armed Forces have examined the medical records of British Service men who served in the counter-insurgency campaigns in Malaya and came into contact with the defolian 2,4,5-T;
  • (5) what exchange of information has taken place between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Govern- ments of the United States of America and Australia, about means of protecting Service men and civilians in combat zones against the effects of the defoliant and its derivatives.
  • The herbicide 2,4,5-T was used during the Malayan campaign on a small scale and British Service men were unlikely to have come into contact with it to any significant degree. No records were kept of contacts with it, and searching for information now for research and examination would involve disproportionate effort. Exchanges of information with the United States of America, and Australia on the use of herbicides, as on many other subjects, have taken place under the usual technical co-operation arrangements.