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Division No. 1


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fitt, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greaves, L.
Grenfell, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Longford, E.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar, C.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Parekh, L.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Russell, E.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wakefield, Bp.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.


Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bagri, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chadlington, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coe, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wilcox, B.
Young, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1390

4.42 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker: My Lords, under the rules of pre-emption, I should tell the House that Amendment No. 74 cannot be called.

[Amendment No. 75 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

Viscount Bledisloe had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 75A:

    Clause 13, page 8, line 17, after ("origin,") insert ("or any house, building, erection, wall, fence, hedge, gate or stile constructed or retained on the land for the purpose of any natural use of the land,").

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, I have to say that I found the Minister's response to our debate profoundly unsatisfactory. It is unfortunate that, for technical reasons, the amendment tabled in the name of the noble Earl, Lord Peel, cannot be called and I accept that the amendment tabled in my name is no longer entirely apt, given that Amendment No. 73 has been put on to the face of the Bill. I shall therefore not move my amendment, but I shall certainly return to the topic on Third Reading.

In the meantime, I would ask the Minister to study carefully what I have said because he did not answer any of my points and I felt that his response was not acceptable. As I have said, we shall have to deal with this again on Third Reading, using a new amendment which has been adapted to the Bill as it now stands.

[Amendment No. 75A not moved.]

[Amendment No. 76 not moved.]

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1391

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 77:

    Clause 13, page 8, line 18, at end insert--

("(6C) Subsection (6A) does not prevent an occupier from owing a duty by virtue of this section in respect of any risk where the danger concerned is due to anything done by the occupier--
(a) with the intention of creating that risk, or
(b) being reckless as to whether that risk is created."
(3) After section 1 of that Act there is inserted--
"Special considerations relating to access land.
1A. In determining whether any and if so what duty is owed by virtue of section 1 by an occupier of land at any time when the right conferred by section 2(1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 is exercisable in relation to the land, regard is to be had, in particular, to--
(a) the fact that the existence of that right ought not to lace an undue burden (whether financial or otherwise) on the occupier,
(b) the importance of maintaining the character of the countryside, including features of historic, traditional or archaeological interest, and
(c) any relevant guidance given under section (Codes of conduct and other information) of that Act.").

[Amendment No. 78, as an amendment to Amendment No. 77, not moved.]

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Far East Prisoners: Ex Gratia Payment

4.44 p.m.

Lord Burlison: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat a Statement made in another place by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence. The Statement is as follows:

    "In April this year, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister held a meeting with representatives of the Royal British Legion to discuss the British groups who had been held prisoner by the Japanese during the Second World War. He subsequently initiated a reconsideration of the long-standing policy of Her Majesty's Government towards these Far East prisoners. Owing to the complexity of the issues involved, that review took time to carry out but it has now been completed.

    "I am very pleased to be able to inform the House that as a result of the review the Government have decided to make a single ex gratia payment of £10,000 to the surviving members of the British groups who were held prisoner by the Japanese during the Second World War, in recognition of the unique circumstances of their captivity. Where a person who would have been entitled to this payment has died, their surviving spouse will be entitled to receive it instead.

    "As honourable Members will recall, on a number of occasions in recent months this House has debated the situation of those who were held prisoner in the Far East during the Second World War. The reason we have done so is that what happened to those prisoners was often so appalling that for many it has remained with them for the rest

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1392

    of their lives. Many Members will be aware of the stories told by now frail constituents about that terrible time; members of the public will be familiar with the books and films about it. However, if we look back at the histories, we come across a simple, stark fact that makes clear to everybody the enormity of what happened. Of the 50,016 British service personnel who were reported captured by the Japanese, 12,433 died or were killed in captivity. In other words, conditions were so bad that one in four did not survive.

    "We are all very thankful that such a situation did not occur anywhere else during the Second World War and has not recurred since. The unique nature of the Japanese captivity in the Far East was recognised in the 1950s, when those who had been held became eligible for modest payments from assets, made under the provisions of the 1951 San Francisco Treaty of Peace with Japan. As noble Lords are aware, the maximum payment available at that time was £76.10s.

    "In the intervening years, the former Far East prisoners pursued the issue of additional compensation with Japan. More recently, they have also campaigned for the British Government to make a payment. However, as Members of both sides of the House will be well aware, it has been the policy of successive governments over many years not to make payments in such circumstances.

    "We are now making an exception for the British groups that were held prisoner by the Japanese during the Second World War in recognition of the unique circumstances of their collective captivity. Those who will be entitled to receive the payment are former members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces who were made prisoners of war, former members of the Merchant Navy who were captured and imprisoned and British civilians who were interned. Certain other former military personnel in the colonial forces, Indian army and Burmese armed forces who received compensation in the 1950s under United Kingdom auspices will also be eligible. As I said earlier, where a person who would have been entitled to this payment has died, their surviving spouse will be entitled to receive it instead.

    "We estimate that up to 16,700 people may be eligible for these ex gratia payments, which will accordingly cost up to £167 million to make. I shall not now go into detail about the new payment scheme, except to say that this single ex gratia payment will not be taxable, nor will it be taken into account for benefits purposes. We intend to make these payments as quickly as possible, although it will take a little time for the appropriate regulations to be made. However, we expect everything to be in place by February.

    "Further details of the scheme are being published today in a leaflet by the War Pensions Agency, which will be administering it. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House. The leaflet and a claim form will also be available on the agency's website.

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1393

    "The Government recognise that many UK citizens, both those serving in the Armed Forces and civilians, have had to endure great hardship at different times and in different circumstances. But the experience of those who went into captivity in the Far East during the Second World War was unique. We have said before that we believe the country owes a debt of honour to them. I hope that I am speaking for everyone here when I say that today something concrete has been done to recognise that debt."

My Lords, that concludes the Statement.

4.49 p.m.

Lord Burnham: My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating the Statement. I hope that he will not take it the wrong way when I say that we hope for the speedy return of his noble friend the Minister of State.

We welcome unconditionally the generous and good offer that the Government are making to former Far East prisoners of war and their dependants. Many congratulations should be offered to the Royal British Legion, the Far East prisoner of war associations and the other bodies which have fought so hard and so long for the settlement that has been announced today.

It is understandable that it has taken so long to make this settlement because up until 1998 we had been hoping that the Japanese Government would pay compensation to the former prisoners of war. It is only since that time, after the final decision in their high court that they would not make such a payment, that it became clear that other governments would have to do so. The pattern has been set by the Canadians and Her Majesty's Government have rightly followed.

I particularly welcome three aspects of the payment: that it will be paid to all who were imprisoned or interned in the Far East, including civilians, men and women, members of the Merchant Navy and others; that it will be paid to widows, for they, too, suffered from the difficulties, dangers and horrors that their men endured in prison; and that the payment will not be taxable or set against benefits.

These have been the forgotten warriors. It is appropriate that in this week the forgotten army should be remembered.

4.52 p.m.

Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for repeating the Statement. While nothing can ever compensate the men and women who suffered at Japanese hands during the Second World War, it is excellent that the Government have recognised their plight and have made a generous offer, which, as I understand it, extends to both widows and civilian internees. Perhaps the Minister can say whether the same conditions will apply to them as to members of the Armed Forces.

7 Nov 2000 : Column 1394

I should like to point out the substantial difference between the way in which the German Government have treated those who were enslaved as workers during the war and those who worked as slaves in the Far East and who, to this day, have still not been compensated by the Japanese Government.

Perhaps I may ask the Minister two questions. First, what is the position of those who are now citizens of Hong Kong who were previously subjects of the United Kingdom, who suffered equally from internment and who, in some cases, were members of the Armed Forces? For reasons quite outside their control, some of them are now Hong Kong citizens--and therefore citizens of the Republic of China--rather than British citizens, but their position, their plight and the suffering that they underwent was not very different from that of the citizens to whom the Minister has referred.

Finally, can the Minister say a little more about the section in the Statement that deals with those who served with us from Commonwealth countries, particularly those from India, Burma and the colonial forces? Perhaps he can say how far the settlement will extend to them. He mentioned them, but he did not say in precise terms who would qualify and who would not.

May I again say how grateful we are that the Government have recognised the desperate position of those who served and then suffered so much at the hands of the Japanese during the Second World War?

4.54 p.m.

Lord Burlison: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Burnham, for his kind remarks about my noble friend Lady Symons. I shall certainly pass them on to her. We hope that she will return very quickly.

The remarks of the noble Lord were well meant and genuinely appreciative of the move that has now been made. I am sure that he will wish to join with the Government in celebrating the fact that we have now been able to do what needed to be done--perhaps many years ago--for these people.

The noble Baroness added her welcome to the Government's decision. She asked about civilian internees. As I understand it, that group involves a number of people. They will, of course, be recognised. Should any of those she mentioned fall outside the scheme, I shall write to the noble Baroness with details. Similarly, I expect those colonials--from wherever they came--who were part of this group, and who were prisoners of war during that period on our behalf, to be recognised.

So far as concerns those who were imprisoned or interned for other reasons--for instance, as the noble Baroness mentioned, those from states such as Hong Kong-- details are not yet fully available on this issue. I shall ensure that the noble Baroness is informed of the position of such people.

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