HC Deb 06 February 1996 vol 271 cc126-7
8. Mrs. Gorman

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy in reissuing lost medals for ex-service men. [12034]

Mr. Soames

Where evidence of genuine loss is produced, replacement medals can be supplied. Replacements are charged at cost.

Mrs. Gorman

Will my hon. Friend accept the grateful thanks of my constituent, Mr. Edwin Rymer, who lost his war medals but was able to regain them, although at a cost of £70—almost a week's pension? Will he also accept that Mr. Rymer and his generation of war heroes would be absolutely devastated if the freedom to run our country for which they fought were ever to be lost? Would not a Labour Government hand over that freedom lock, stock and barrel to Europe?

Mr. Soames

My hon. Friend does well to highlight again Labour's imperfect understanding of defence matters. I am grateful for her tribute to the work done by the medals office of the Ministry of Defence. We realise how distressing it is when treasured medals are lost or stolen. Claims for replacement take some time to process, as it is important that they are properly verified. As the years go past, such requests will increase, and we must make sure that they are properly satisfied by having an effective and efficient operation in place. As for her question about the Labour party, defence and Europe, the least said the better.

Mr. Foulkes

Will the Minister consider issuing medals to the service men who advised against the route of the gas pipeline across Beaufort's dyke? Will the Government examine the route of the proposed electricity interconnector with the same degree of care—

Madam Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is abusing Question Time. He stood to ask a supplementary question on the subject of Beaufort's dyke, but was not called. He now seeks to ask his question, but he will not do so.

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