HL Deb 02 December 1997 vol 583 cc159-60WA
Lord Morris of Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the reply given by Lord Gilbert on 13 November (WA 45), what estimate has been made of the cost of providing the answer to the question tabled by Lord Morris of Manchester on 3 November concerning the number of cases where a recommendation to award a Victoria Cross to a New Zealand soldier in the Second World War was downgraded.

Lord Hoyle

To provide a substantive answer, it would have been necessary to review allLondon Gazette entries from the date when the New Zealand Army entered the war in 1941 to locate each recommendation and the name of the individual concerned. The records of those individuals would have then had to be obtained from the Public Record Office to see if it was a failed Victoria Cross recommendation.

The New Zealand Army served in North Africa, Italy and the South West Pacific. We do not hold records for those who served in the SW Pacific. The task would be made all the more difficult by the need to find this information and obtain the relevant records.

The total cost of these activities by an experienced researcher is estimated comfortably to exceed the £500 disproportionate cost threshold for answering parliamentary Questions announced in another place on 21 July 1997 by my honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.