HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 cc189-90W
Sir T. Beamish

asked the Prime Minister what further consideration he has given to the representations that have been made to him about the recognition of the Albert and Edward Medals; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

The Albert and Edward Medals were instituted in 1866 and 1907, respectively, as awards for outstanding gallantry in saving or endeavouring to save life. Since 1948, however, no Albert or Edward Medals have been awarded—except posthumously—and the general public are no longer as conscious as they were of their significance and status. It has been represented that the effect of this is to deprive surviving holders of these medals of the recognition which is their undoubted due. I am glad to be able to announce, with the approval of Her Majesty The Queen, that all surviving holders of the Albert and Edward Medals will be required forthwith to exchange their awards for the George Cross. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will now issue advice to those concerned. Pending completion of the exchange they will be entitled as from today to add the initials G.C.—instead of A.M. or E.M.—after their names.