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, I recognise the efforts that the noble and learned Lord and others have made in persuading the Ministry of Defence to respond to this issue, and I accept the criticism that he and others have made. However, on his point about closure—which is where I believe we now are on this matter—I sincerely do not believe that that can be best achieved by some form of payment. I imagine that is what the noble and learned Lord was referring to by "magnanimity". If there are other areas, which are separate from the payment in addition to the existing war pensions, that veterans feel would help in reaching closure, we would certainly consider them.