§ 34. Mr. John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Defence why Her Majesty's Government was not represented at the funeral of General Bor-Komorowski.
§ 43. Mr. Cordle
asked the Secretary of State for Defence why an official representative was not sent to the funeral of General Bor-Komorowski.
§ The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Denis Healey)
I would refer to the Answer I gave to similar Questions yesterday.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that those arranging the Requiem to be held in Westminster Cathedral tomorrow are grateful for the co-operation of the Armed Forces, which makes some amends for an error damaging to Britain?
§ Mr. Healey
I cannot accept that an error has been made in this matter, since it has never been the custom of the Government to be represented at privately arranged funerals of persons however eminent. But I accept with gratitude the hon. Gentleman's tribute to the help which our Armed Forces are giving in the matter.
§ Mr. Cordle
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many people in this country were upset and annoyed to think that there was no Government representation at the formal but I gather rather private funeral? I am glad that the 208 right hon. Gentleman has gone a long way to ease that by the representation which will be at the memorial service.
§ Mr. Healey
I thank the hon. Gentleman for what he has said. I think that any annoyance which was felt was very much inflamed by the way in which the matter was reported in certain newspapers. Her Majesty's Government were not represented, for example, at the private funeral of Lord Ismay. There is no reason why they should have been represented at the funeral of a distinguished and gallant leader of an allied country.
§ Mr. Lipton
Would it not have saved a certain amount of misunderstanding and some distress if it had been made clear by my right hon. Friend at the time of the funeral why there was no Government representation? We all welcome the decision that the Government will be represented at the memorial service tomorrow.