HC Deb 22 June 1943 vol 390 cc998-9
45. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Prime Minister whether consideration has been given to the need for the issue of chevrons to indicate service overseas, medals for service in big engagements, and some indication to signify that men or women have been wounded on service; and can he now make a statement on this matter, making it applicable to all services?

49. Captain Gammans

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that the North African campaign has now been carried to a successful conclusion, he will consider the issue of a medal to the men and women of the Fighting Forces and the Merchant Navy who have taken part in it?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The matter is under active consideration, and I am not yet in a position to add anything to the reply which I gave on 9th June last to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke (Mr. Ellis Smith) and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Withington (Squadron-Leader Fleming).

Mr. Bellenger

Why is there delay in coming to a decision on this matter? My right hon. Friend will recognise that the matter has now been under the active consideration of the Cabinet for some considerable time.

Mr. Attlee

I am sure my hon. Friend knows very well the difficulty of settling these things, with a war going on in various theatres. It is not an easy matter; my hon. Friend knows that well.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the steps suggested in the Question were all carried out in the last war, and that there is a growing demand that the services of our men and women should be recognised? Surely there is no difficulty about issuing chevrons for service overseas?

Mr. Attlee

I am aware that it was done in the last war, but my hon. Friend will realise the great sense of injustice that may be caused if someone is left out.

Mr. Shinwell

Has my right hon. Friend observed the large number of American Forces in this country wearing distinctions? If it can be done by the Americans, why is there any difficulty in the way of its being done here?