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Civilian Prisoners: Compensation

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether members of the Indian Army are eligible to claim under the scheme for compensation for British civilian prisoners of the Japanese. (112356)

Former members of the Indian Army who were held as prisoners of war by the Japanese may be eligible for payment under the UK’s Ex Gratia Scheme for former Far East Prisoners of War and civilian internees. To qualify, claimants must have met the following criteria:

been British at the time they were held;

have remained as members of the Indian Army throughout their captivity; and either

have received payments under article 16 of the 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan under the auspices of the British Government; or

have been a citizen of a country that did not make its own treaty arrangements with Japan after WWII; or

have counted as being resident in the UK (or, after 1 November 1993, in another European Union member state) for at least 20 years between 1 January 1945 and 7 November 2000.

The legality of the final criterion is currently the subject of a case before the Court of Appeal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons he decided to apply a 20 year rule for connection with the UK on his scheme for compensation of British civilians of the Japanese. (112357)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 24 January 2007, Official Report, column 1775W, by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence.