Third Reading

Part of Armed Forces Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 10th October 2011.

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Photo of Lord Palmer of Childs Hill Lord Palmer of Childs Hill Liberal Democrat 4:15 pm, 10th October 2011

My Lords, I rise as someone with no military medals, though my late father had some. I find it incomprehensible that we are not proud that service people fighting for this country were awarded medals by one of our Commonwealth nations. If we are proud that they should be awarded such medals, why should they not be allowed to wear them? It seems incomprehensible that they are not. We talk in your Lordships' House about the cost of this and the cost of that-I was told that the cost of national defence medals would be higher than I imagined-but the cost of doing this is nothing other than perhaps a dent in some civil servant's pride. There is no reason why this House should not encourage the Government to allow people to wear medals such as the PJM medal.

Having been awarded a medal from a Commonwealth country, the recipient does not have to wear it. There is no saying that if you have received a medal from a Commonwealth country of which you might, for current reasons, disapprove you have to wear it, but the idea that you cannot wear it seems anathema.

The Bill has to go to the other place. It is not on this one amendment that it may ping-pong. Therefore, contrary to my normal loyalties to the coalition, I will vote with the noble, valiant Lords in favour of the amendment.