HC Deb 29 July 1953 vol 518 c1291
48. Mr. Lewis

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that the Acting Commanding Officer of the No. 4 Mobile Repair and Salvage Unit of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, Pilot Officer Speakman, with the support of seven senior non-commissioned officers, perpetrated a hoax on Sergeant W. Bailey, No. 4 Mobile Repair and Salvage Unit, in falsely presenting him with a Coronation Medal on behalf of Her Majesty at a ceremony in the office of the headquarters of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, Germany; and what action he proposes to take against those responsible for this breach of Service Regulations.

Mr. Ward

This incident is being investigated and the competent authority will if necessary, take appropriate disciplinary action.

Mr. Lewis

The Under-Secretary will be aware that he wrote to me yesterday, and for that letter I thank him. In his letter he states at the outset that preliminary reports confirm the facts in this Question, and he went on to say that the Air Officer Commanding is still away—that is some 23 days ago—but he will investigate it and, if the facts are confirmed, he will take the necessary action. The latter part of the letter is completely contradictory, because the Under-Secretary himself says that the allegations are confirmed, and that if the Air Officer Commanding does not take suitable action he himself will. Why the long delay? Will the hon. Gentleman give us something more definite?

Mr. Ward

I will quote from the letter I wrote to the hon. Gentleman, a copy of which I have before me. I said in it; From the preliminary reports which I have had I think I can say that the facts of the matter are broadly as stated in your Question and in the report in the 'Daily Mirror'. That is quite different from saying that we have investigated it and got all the details.