Awards for Gallantry.

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force. – in the House of Commons on 3rd June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

asked the Secretary of State for Air in what manner did the noncommissioned flying officers, recently decorated for their part in the recent raid on Lubeck, differ in responsibility, initiative or courage, from the commissioned officers who were given awards for their part in the same operation?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

Their conduct was of equal merit, and so were their awards.

Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

Why were they given a different award?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

They were given awards of equal merit.

Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the scathing comment on his replies concerning this matter in "Reveille," a paper which circulates among the men of the Air Service?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Why is the right hon. Gentleman so sticky about this? Why does he not respond to public feeling and grant a distinction which is fair to everybody?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

There is no question of stickiness. These awards are equal. The D.F.M. is an award which is cherished by those who receive it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the cheers from hon. Members behind him indicate their desire to retain class distinction?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

I heard cheers from all over the House.