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Japanese Internment

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to pay the other claims for compensation to civilians interned by the Japanese associated with the class action against his Department won by Mrs. Elias. (117025)

Mrs. Elias was awarded damages by the Court to compensate her for injury to her feelings caused by having been discriminated against on the grounds of her national origins when her claim for an award from the Ex-Gratia Payment Scheme for Far East Prisoners of War and civilian internees was rejected under the birthlink criterion. To date, the Ministry of Defence has received eight other claims for damages for injury to feelings from individuals whose claims under the scheme were also rejected on birthlink grounds and who claim to have been discriminated against on the grounds of their national origins. These claims are currently the subject of discussion between the Department and those representing the claimants.

The Ministry of Defence is prepared to consider claims for compensation for injury to feelings resulting from discrimination on national origins grounds from any person whose claim was rejected on birthlink grounds and who, like Mrs. Elias, was of non-UK national origins.

Claimants who think that they are entitled to compensation on the same basis as Mrs. Elias should write to the Veterans Agency setting out the basis on which they consider themselves to be a person of non-UK national origins or otherwise entitled to make a claim for indirect discrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976.