Com­pen­sa­tion de­nied to Ja­panese camp vic­tim

Fam­ily dis­ap­pointed at Vet­er­ans Min­is­ter’s re­sponse

The Jewish Chronicle - - HOME NEWS - BY RACHEL FLETCHER

A MEET­ING with the Vet­er­ans Min­is­ter to dis­cuss com­pen­sa­tion for a Jewish wartime pris­oner of the Ja­panese was branded a “waste of time” by his fam­ily this week.

Diana Elias and her daugh­ter-in-law Joy met Derek Twigg MP on Thurs­day last week to push the case for Diana’s brother, John Hardoon. De­spite hav­ing held a Bri­tish pass­port all his life, he can prove only 17 years’ res­i­dency in the UK — not the 20 re­quired for com­pen­sa­tion.

Joy Elias told the JC: “Derek Twigg was not very help­ful. We were not given an­swers, ex­cept to be told that if an ex­cep­tion was made for John, they would have to make ex­cep­tions for all.

“Derek Twigg was very cold, like he couldn’t care less. I feel it went very badly. They are not go­ing to budge from the 20-year rule.”

Mr Hardoon, Mrs Elias and their five sib­lings were all im­pris­oned by the Ja­panese in Stan­ley Camp in Hong Kong from 1941 to 1945, ow­ing to their Bri­tish na­tion­al­ity. Mr Hardoon, who now lives in Ra­mat Gan, Is­rael, lived in Bri­tain for 21 years.

How­ever, he made Na­tional In­sur­ance pay­ments for only 17 years, hav­ing stopped work­ing due to de­pres­sion when his first wife died. Nor did he ap­pear on the elec­toral reg­is­ter.

All his sib­lings have re­ceived their com­pen­sa­tion, two posthu­mously.

The fam­ily is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Laud­erdale Road Syn­a­gogue, where Mr Hardoon re-mar­ried, has records to prove his 21-year res­i­dency.

His sis­ter, Mrs Elias, whose own High Court case led to the 20-year rule be­ing in­tro­duced, told the JC: “Derek Twigg didn’t give us a chance to speak prop­erly.

“He just said ev­ery­thing was part of a le­gal pro­ce­dure.

“John was here from 1954 to 1975. When he sold his house in 1976, he signed the deed from Is­rael, so there is no record here. It is dis­gust­ing that he doesn’t have com­pen­sa­tion.”

A Min­istry of Defence spokesman told the JC: “At the re­cent meet­ing, the min­is­ter lis­tened care­fully to the fam­ily’s con­cerns and sug­gested a num­ber of ways in which Mr Hardoon might be able to pro­vide ev­i­dence of [20 years’] res­i­dence, and un­der­stood that the fam­ily wished to look into th­ese.

“We can­not com­ment on the de­tail of an in­di­vid­ual’s claim. How­ever, the prin­ci­ples of the scheme re­quire that claimants be able to pro­vide rea­son­able ev­i­dence of a close link to the UK — and hav­ing been res­i­dent here for 20 years is one of the ways in which that can be done.”

The spokesman added: “It would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to make pay­ments in cases where the in­di­vid­ual has not pro­vided rea­son­able ev­i­dence of meet­ing the scheme’s cri­te­ria.”

Diana Elias at the High Court: her vic­tory has not helped her brother

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