HC Deb 27 February 1919 vol 112 cc1946-7

asked the Prime Minister whether the Imperial Graves Commission can be requested to reconsider their decision to deprive the bereaved relations of our soldiers of their rights as citizens, still allowed to the relatives of those soldiers who die in England, of choosing the form of memorial that should mark their graves abroad, a privilege never refused in any previous war?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Churchill)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Finchley on the 18th February, and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ludlow on Monday last. Every effort will be made by the Imperial War Graves Commission to interpret public feeling rightly on this subject, and no hasty decision will be come to.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether it is not possible for his Department to lay down what regulations may be desirable as to space and dimensions, and within those limits allow relatives freedom of design?


No, Sir. I am ex officio chairman of the Imperial War Graves Commission, but I have only once presided over their meetings. I will open this subject to them at their next meeting, and will raise the different points which have been brought forward by questions in this House. It is possible that they may alter to some extent the view which they have taken that a uniform standard should be observed. I am not committing myself one way or the other, but I think the matter requires to be further discussed, and that the country and the House should participate as much as possible in the discussion.