HC Deb 05 June 1945 vol 411 cc679-81
45. Captain Lonģhurst

asked the Prime Minister to what medal men who have served in Paiforce will be entitled.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

I am still not satisfied with the arrangements which have been made on this subject up to the present time, and therefore I will ask my hon. and gallant Friend to allow me to pursue my task which involves many minor complications.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that he has not much time, if he is to get these things settled before he leaves that side of the House?

The Prime Minister

That is counting chickens before they are hatched.

46. Sir H. Williams

asked the Prime Minister if military permanent staffs of hospital ships and troopships will be eligible for the Atlantic Star, Africa Star and Italy Star, etc., on the same terms as the Merchant Navy personnel.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. But no other doors can be opened on this account.

52. Captain Peter Macdonald

asked the Prime Minister whether it is proposed to award any medal to the large numbers of Allied troops who served in this country during the time that their own countries were occupied by the enemy; and whether, in view of the fact that large numbers of such men on returning home are without visible record of their services overseas, he will arrange for this matter to be considered at an early opportunity.

The Prime Minister

This requires further examination. You move on one point and a dozen other questions come up for decision. However, I should like to examine this further. The White Paper covers many millions of cases, and we are anxious to get the ribbons out as fast as possible to the people who want to enjoy them. Meanwhile, we are tidying up minor matters or, rather, quite important matters which are not within the scope of the White Paper.

Captain Macdonald

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a large number of our Allies who served in their own ships over here, are now returning to their own countries, and find that their absence during the period of the occupation of their countries is sometimes looked upon with suspicion, and they feel that they ought to have some means of showing the services they have rendered to their countries during the time they were away?

The Prime Minister

That is an argument for haste, and I quite agree with it.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that the chances are that a Victory Medal will eventually be struck, and that these men will be covered by that?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

55. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider awarding to the volunteers of the Royal Engineers who formed the bomb-disposal sections in 1940–41 a silver rosette to the 1939–45 Star, as these men did valuable work, suffered heavy casualties, and have, so far, had no special recognition.

The Prime Minister

I have given much thought to this matter. I regard these services among the very highest that have been rendered to this country. Various proposals have been made, but I am not satisfied that the recognition is sufficient. I shall devote myself to this matter as opportunity permits; but as it affects so small a number of people, it must not arrest the main flow of decorations to so many who have done so well.