Gulf War Illnesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at on 11 October 2007.

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Photo of Lord Drayson Lord Drayson Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Business and Regulatory Reform), Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support) (also Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

My Lords, as I have already said to the House, I accept that the way in which this has been handled by the department has not been good. However, the measures that we have put in place, the recognition of the umbrella term, the letters to veterans, the research that is being undertaken and the focus on rehabilitation are in response to that recognition. The noble Lord says that the Americans have been more generous and have acted more speedily; I do not think that is a helpful comparison to make at this time. The Ministry of Defence is now doing everything that it should be doing in this case; however, it should have done it earlier.