HC Deb 20 March 1951 vol 485 cc264-5W
111. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for War what explanation he received of the inadequacy of gallantry awards in Korea and the long delay in considering recommendations, when he discussed this matter with the Commander-in-Chief, Far Eastern Command, in accordance with the undertaking given to the hon. Member for Solihull on 9th March.

Mr. Strachey

The Commander-in-Chief, Far East Land Forces, did not consider that there was an inadequacy in gallantry awards in Korea. He accounted for the delay in passing the recommendations from his headquarters by the need to collate the recommendations which reached him in any given period.

112. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is with his approval that, while five officers have received gallantry awards for service in Korea, only two such awards have been made to the other ranks, and none to private soldiers.

Mr. Strachey

The hon. Member will be aware that on 6th March the award of Mentions-in-Despatches to nine other ranks, including four privates, was announced in the "London Gazette." Recommendations for awards and, in certain circumstances, the granting of awards, fall within the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief, who has recently promised to look into the point the hon. Member has raised.

113. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for War the dates upon which Headquarters, 27th Brigade, received the four recommendations for the Military Medal upon which no decision has yet been taken; and when these decisions can be expected.

Mr. Strachey

These recommendations were received at Headquarters, 27th Brigade, about 3rd October, 1950. One of the recommendations has been overruled. In the remaining three cases the recommendations were amended to Mentions-in-Despatches, and these have been awarded.

115. Mr. P. F. Crowder

asked the Secretary of State for War why "A" Squadron, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, now serving in Korea, were without adequate supplies of boots as late as 14th February.

Mr. Strachey

I have already informed the House that adequate supplies of boots reached Korea on 3rd and 8th November. I have myself seen the commanding officer of this unit, who left Korea at the beginning of February and who has assured me that all ranks were adequately equipped. It is possible that there may have been some delay in replacing worn out boots owing to the impossibility of small detachments of troops holding reserve stocks.

119. Mr. Collick

asked the Secretary of State for War how many time expired men are serving in Korea; and what steps he is taking to have them sent home.

Mr. Strachey

There are 1,266 time expired men serving in Korea. A timed programme for the release of reservists in which top priority has been given to time expired reservists has been sent to Korea. The release of time expired Regular personnel affects all theatres and a release programme, details of which will be promulgated in due course, has been planned on a world wide basis. Both programmes provide for the release of time expired men in accordance with the statement of the Prime Minister on 29th January, 1951.