Will my right hon. and gallant Friend take steps to remove this inequality, so that officers and men can use the letters A.E.A after their names or alternatively the letters T.D., in the same way as Army officers do?
No, Sir. If the Government were once to start on the slippery slope of allowing the holders of medals not awarded for gallantry to use initials after their names the practice would become so common as to be scarcely worth any distinction at all. There is the Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserves Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, and there is the Board of Trade Rocket Apparatus Volunteer Long Service Medal. For these the appropriate initials would be R.N.A.S., S.B., L.S. and G.C.M. and B.T.R.A.L.S.M., and I think the hon. Member would see that for holders of these medals to have these long strings of initials after their names would not be really very suitable.
While appreciating the humour of what my right hon. and gallant Friend has said, may I ask whether it would not be right and proper to see that the Air Force are put on the same footing as the Army in this matter because officers in the Army are allowed to put these letters after their names? Why should not those in the Air Force be put in the same position when they receive similar awards?