A new document has emerged from 1984 which shows that the UK Ministry of Defence were preparing policies for the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act.
For many years, the Nuclear Test Veterans Associations have claimed that the MoD have information relating to the exposure of the servicemen.
This document from 1984 is from the Australian High Commission in London. Dated 16th March 1984.
The document is addressed to Mr G McGregor, First Assistant Secretary, Uranium & Nuclear Division. It Relates to the radiation doses received by the Australian and New Zealand Indoctrine forces during the Buffalo trials which were discovered in AWRE files.
Paragraph 2 is most damaging for the MoD. It details a policy document that was being prepared by Mr McTaggart regarding releasing of information to the public relating to the tests.
Why are the MoD worried about Freedom of Information (FOI) requests?, what is contained within these documents that should not be released to the public? The MoD have always stated that the dosage records do not exist or that the dosage was so low that it did not effect the servicemen, yet they are prepared to not issue documents, despite FOI requests.
As far back as 1984, the MoD were preparing a policy to ensure that documents relating to the Nuclear testing program were not released to the Veteran Associations or the public.
LABRATS have the full list of the doses that the Indoctrine forces received, but have not published them as they contain the names of the personnel involved.
Does this MoD policy exist? From this evidence, Mr G McTaggert was preparing the policy. Is it still in use today? The Veterans know that the MoD are withholding information, the public know that this information exists. Why else would they revoke access to the archives at Kew, which have still not as promised, returned to public access.
The Veterans Associations have challenged the MoD for years on this subject, there are hundreds of thousands of documents as detailed by Mr Justice Foskett in 2009.
In 2009, 12,000 documents were disclosed to the case, but it was put to the legal team that there are over 190,000 documents in the AWE files alone.
This letter shows a deliberate policy of deceit, non-release of information and since 1984 a denial of the rights of the servicemen to answers. Many have died, their descendants are suffering and the MoD continue to stick by this policy.
It is time for the MoD and the government to acknowledge that they exposed these servicemen, officially recognise them and compensate them and their families. This policy is outdated and no longer relevant.
The full letter is shown below:
I AM ANGRY - HOW CAN I HELP?
If you are angry by this denial and deceit, you can send a copy of this letter to your MP, or write to the MoD under the Freedom of Information Act and ask for a copy of the McTaggert policy. We need to keep the pressure on the governments, this letter tells us that since 1984 there has been a deliberate policy to deny the veterans and their families the justice they deserve.
You can contact the MoD using the following methods:
Write to them at:
MOD Information Rights Team Ground floor, zone D Main Building Whitehall London SW1A 2HB
You must provide your:
name (title, first name and surname)
a postal address and or email address for reply
include a description of the information required (please be as specific as possible)
They will deal with your request as quickly as they can, and will aim to let you have a response within 20 working days. If for any reason they are unable to let you have a response within 20 working days they will contact you as soon as possible explaining the reason for this.
THE TIME IS NOW FOR JUSTICE AND RECOGNITION FOR OUR VETERANS.
LABRATS thanks Mr Dave Whyte for this information