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Far East Prisoners of War

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what correspondence his Department has sent to potential recipients of the Far East prisoners of war ex-gratia payment living in Australia; when the letters were sent; how many letters were sent; and how many responses were received. (100887)

We are aware of 1,964 claims under the Ex-Gratia Payment Scheme from former far east prisoners of war and civilian internees who have given an address in Australia and have corresponded with these as necessary to decide their claims. Following the implementation earlier this year of the rule extending eligibility to British internees with at least 20 years' residence in the UK between 1 January 1945 and 7 November 2000, the Veterans Agency have written to formerly rejected civilian claimants inviting them to provide further information to establish if they might now qualify for a payment. 271 of these had addresses in Australia. As at mid-November, responses had been received in 99 cases.