Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 21st June 2007.
To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it is having with the United Kingdom Government on proposals to permit investigations into the deaths of Scottish servicemen killed abroad to take place in Scotland. (S3O-349)
We are acutely aware of the sensitivity of this issue and share the desire to find a system that will reduce the stress, anguish and delay for bereaved families.
The Scottish Government, continuing work done by ministers in the previous Administration, has been in contact with the United Kingdom Government with a view to finding the best resolution of this issue, having regard to the legal context. That contact is on-going.
We welcome the UK Government's desire to work with us to find the best way to investigate deaths of Scotland-based service personnel who are killed abroad.
I thank the cabinet secretary for his response and for the co-operative action he is taking with the Westminster Government on this matter. Does he agree that it is possible and necessary for the Scottish Government to take that co-operative work further in the interests of service personnel who are from or based in Scotland, and their families, including those who served in the Falklands war, many of whom are still suffering and are able to access ever fewer and less appropriate facilities for their welfare?
Absolutely. I am aware of the member's service in the Falklands conflict and agree that it is the duty of this Government to co-operate with everyone who can help us to ensure that we can look after the interests of those who have served in conflicts, those who have suffered and those who have lost loved ones. We will continue to do so. The legal field is complicated, but I assure the member that we are keen to resolve the issue.