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Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 31st March 2008.

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Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Labour, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who was consulted before the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals decided veterans should accept, but not wear, the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Ministers and officials in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office and staff of the Ceremonial Secretariat (Cabinet Office) and Buckingham palace were consulted before the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals took the decision that the medal could be accepted but not worn. The Malaysian authorities were also included in discussions prior to the decision being taken.

All members of the Committee itself took part in the discussions.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No15 people think not

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David Dilley
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 4:55 pm (Report this annotation)

What a joke! These people consulted themselves. What is not explained here is that representatives from MoD (ceremonial),the cermonial officer of the Cabinet Office, well known to us campaigners, and the (former) Queens Secretary as well as their day jobs,as it were, are also members of the eightman HD Committee who eventually, with pressure from a former Foreign Seceretary (Jack Straw)eventually decided that it could be accepted but not worn. And these constituents of that committee, rewrote the 1969 Regulations, introduced a new Part C, which precluded the wearing of the PJM, and have ever since quoted these rules which introduced the 5 year rule not in the previous 1969 rules and the double medalling Rules, which is arbitrarily applied as and when they feel like it.

A deceitfully given answer!

John Cooper
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 5:28 pm (Report this annotation)

Ms Munn do us all a favour and play a different tune PLEASE!

John Ireland
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 5:55 pm (Report this annotation)

And now Meg Munn is using the same shovel to dig a hole to hide in! The explanations why the veterans cannot wear the PJM have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous and the biggest loosers are the Parliamentarians themselves who have accepted dishonest information from civil servants and regurgitated it as their own thereby showing that they are morally corrupt.

Gerald Law
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 6:17 pm (Report this annotation)

Mr Touhig has been given the same old tired rhetoric that Veterans have been dished up for 3 years. We are supposed to live in a democracy, which by definition means that it is the will of the people that determines the rules. We elect our representatives to do our bidding in that regard. But the HD Committee is elected by nobody, is answerable to nobody and its deliberations (conducted by phone or email but rarely in face to face discussion) are kept secret from those who pay the salaries of the members. That is not democracy at work. It is more representative of the worse practices of the Soviet Union before it collapsed. Perhaps there is lesson to be learned there - no oligarchy lasts for ever.
Gerald Law

John Rushton
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 6:31 pm (Report this annotation)

My best advice to Ms Munn is, "When one finds oneself in a hole, stop digging"

A politician with the integrity of Don Touhig will not accept being fobbed of as she is trying to do. It is an insult to his intelligence.

What angers me the most however, is that she is firing the bullets (and missing) for "the faceless ones". This simply is trying to excuse the inexcusable.

Andy Nicoll
Posted on 1 Apr 2008 7:26 pm (Report this annotation)

The HD Committee had a meeting on the PJM on the 7th. December, 2005, (I believe that is the only meeting they have had) but the minutes of that meeting which are kept in the FCO are not available for inspection under the FOI Act owing to the usual exemptions. The Queen is said to have signed a document confirming that she gave permission for the PJM to be accepted but not worn. Again we are not allowed to view that document owing to the usual FOI Act exemptions. If we are told that it is a discourtesy to Her Majesty the Queen if we wear the PJM without permission how do we know when we only have second hand confirmation re the non wearing rule. Surely there should be no reason why they do not want us to know if the Queen actually declined permission for the PJM to be worn. It cannot be a State secret.
You can stop all this speculation by publishing (like in a London Gazette)the actual Royal Command.
No doubt like all the other questions posed to Meg Munn on the PJM these will also go unanswered.

Jim Livingstone
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 1:20 am (Report this annotation)

Why do all cabinet ministers like Meg Munn (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) have to follow the status quo and cannot vote with their consience on PJM medal wearing issue?

Why does the PJM medal wearing issue not deserve a free vote from all members of parliament like the following controversial issues: Embryo Bill deserves a free vote

"Abortion, divorce, homosexuality - all were reformed on free votes in the Commons, though all started out as private members bills, not government legislation."

David Dilley
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 3:26 pm (Report this annotation)

I note that in her reply she said " The Malaysian authorities were also included in discussions prior to the decision being taken". Of course they would be included in any discussion, it was after all their medal they were offering! The answer implies that they were included in the discussions which accepted the offer of the medal but denied us the opportunity to wear it! So! What is the truth? Did the Malaysian authorities agree to the acceptance of the medal but on the understanding that it would not be worn, or is this further evidence of deliberate deception.

All members of the Committee itself took part in the discussions. Yep, I believe that this was the only occsasion, December 2005, where all members met, we are informed by the Cabinet Office that normally business is carried by 'phone calls, emails and letter post.