§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether arrangements will be made to assist D day veterans to attend the 40th anniversary ceremonies in Normandy in June.
§ Mr. Stanley
As I said in my reply to my hon. Friend on 27 March at column104, I understand that several thousand veterans have already made arrangements with commercial tour operators to participate in the 40th anniversary ceremonies on 6 June. For both logistical and financial reasons it is not possible for the Department to assume responsibility for visits to this or to other war anniversary ceremonies generally. However, exceptionally in this case, arrangements will be made to enable a representative group of D-Day veterans to visit Normandy on 6 June at public expense. This facility is essentially aimed to assist those who are not in a position to make their own private arrangements. It is hoped to be able to offer places to up to some 400 veterans in this way. The allocation of places will be made by the Royal British Legion for whose assistance we are most grateful.