HC Deb 23 March 1948 vol 448 cc2762-3
44. Sir David Robertson

asked the Prime Minister why the names of holders will not be inscribed on the War Medal for 1939–45, the Defence Medal, the King's Freedom Medal and the King's Medal for Courage.

The Prime Minister

The stamping on these medals of the names of the recipients would add substantial difficulties to the necessarily complex scheme of issue, and would greatly delay the despatch of the awards to the recipients.

Sir D. Robertson

Does not the Prime Minister realise that the technical difficulties will not be regarded as justification for the omission of the names of the living, and particularly of those who gave their lives; and can he not appreciate the feelings of one of my constituents who had three sons, two of whom were killed in action, the third being an invalid who was wounded in an air-raid and has subsequently died?

The Prime Minister

I can appreciate all that, but I think there is a general feeling that it is a mistake to delay the issue of medals. They should be issued as soon as possible, and I am advised that the stamping of something like 4½ million medals in this way would delay the issue for a very long time.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Would the right hon. Gentleman give consideration to the possibility that at a later date, when labour conditions may be better, the medals could be handed in for stamping?

The Prime Minister

That is a possibility which I could consider.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will not the Prime Minister reconsider the possibility of engraving medals for those who were killed in action, as that is a matter which is causing very grave concern?

The Prime Minister

I have given great consideration to this matter, and the technical difficulties are immense.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Prime Minister make certain that none of the relatives of Communists or "fellow-travellers" who died in the recent war will be awarded medals of any kind?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Who fought on which side?