DEFENCE – FAR EAST POW PAYMENTS – 3 July 2000
Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Minister [John Spellar] accept that the prisoners of the Japanese are in a separate category because they were the subject of war crimes? I am reading the autobiography of Mr. Bill Griffiths, who while a prisoner of the Japanese was subjected to a war crime that cost him both his eyes and both his hands. How does the Minister think Mr. Griffiths feels about the compensation culture in this country, which pays out huge awards to people whose feelings have been hurt by careless remarks made at work, to service women who have become pregnant and cannot fulfil their duties, and to policemen who suffer stress caused by doing their duty? How do the far east prisoners feel when such payouts are made for situations that do not begin to compare with what they suffered?