THE Government is to give an extra #19m to help the 1200 haemophiliacs

accidently infected with the Aids virus through NHS blood treatment.

The additional cash follows an impassioned personal plea by sufferers

to Mrs Thatcher and a campaign by MPs from all parties.

Health Secretary Mr Kenneth Clarke said in a Commons written reply

that it would be given to the MacFarlane Trust, set up in 1987 to help

the plight of the haemophiliacs accidently infected.

It will enable the trust to make individual payments of #20,000 this


Mr Clarke said: ''These payments will go to each person with

haemophilia who is infected with the Aids virus as a result of treatment

with blood products in the UK or to the family of such a person who has


The people were affected before the NHS started to screen all blood

for the Aids virus.

Labour's Mr Alf Morris (Manchester Wythenshawe), former Minister for

the Disabled and leading campaigner for the haemophiliacs, said the #19m

pay-out would give the 1200 people affected less on average than under

the out-of- court awards, which he said so far have been about #50,000

to #100,000.

Mr Morris said he was concerned that some of the money was coming from

cash already given to the trust. ''The Government is simply robbing

Peter to pay Paul.''

He added: ''The Labour

Party will study this offer very carefully. But it is less than the

out-of-court settlements.''

Mr Morris condemned the way the announcement was made through a

written reply, ''denying MPs the opportunity to quiz the Health

Secretary on the details''.

Mr Clarke said in the written reply that the Government shared the

sense of shock at the unique position of those affected by the Aids

virus as a result of NHS treatment they required in order to survive.

The Government had realised the problem and given the Haemophilia

Society a grant in l987, which enabled the society to set up the special

McFarlane Trust, to distribute payments to individuals and their


Yesterday's extra cash means that the total payments made to the trust

by the Government now totals #29m.

Mr Clarke confirmed that social security payments would be unaffected

by payments from the trust.

However, campaigners yesterday vowed that the announcement of the

extra cash was not the end of their fight for full compensation.

The 600 victims taking their cases to court will continue their


Yesterday, one of them, Aids sufferer Mr Danny Morgan, from south

London, made an emotional plea to Mrs Thatcher, dubbing the pay-off ''20

pieces of silver.''

''Where is the help in this?'' he told a meeting at Westminster as the

extent of the payments became clear.

The Haemophiliacs Society wanted #100m -- more than #80,000 per


Mr Morgan, a father of two young children who was infected in 1985,

says his wife had been driven to the edge of nervous breakdown by the

strain of his condition.

''What does this do for me on a day to day basis? I have a mortgage of

#40,000. When I die, it is pleasant to know that #20,000 is covered.

''It would be better if people looked at the actual physical

privations we go through and found ways to help us rather than arguing

about how to divide up 20 pieces of silver.''

Mr Jonathan Cooper, of the Haemophilia Society, said: ''Each of the

1200 victims should get at least #100,000 each so they can have a degree

of control over their own affairs.

Mr David Watters, the society's general secretary, said he was

''disappointed'' by the sum.

SDP leader Dr David Owen later condemned the extra cash as ''massively

lower than people could expect to get in court''.

He called, during the Queen's Speech debate, for a fair statutory

compensation system.

''It would be possible to negotiate a compensatory arrangement that

would obviate the need for any legal case and that all the legal cases

would be withdrawn, but it would require a generous settlement.''

Dr Owen said: ''It would require a settlement at least four times that

which is currently being proposed by the Government.''

He also urged increased action to halt the spread of Aids, with a

programme of routine testing by doctors without requiring a patient's


He said: ''We are still failing to do what we have done in the past

when faced by an infectious illness like this and that is to conduct

routine blood tests on people for HIV virus and not to have permission

for it.''