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Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Labour, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) what measures are in place to ensure that a member of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals is not involved in making a decision that could result in them being awarded an honour, decoration or medal;

(2) on how many occasions a member of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals has received an honour, decoration or medal as a result of a decision of the committee.

Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Prime Minister, Leader of the Labour Party

I have been asked to reply.

The Committee has been in existence for some 70 years. Its main purpose is to advise The Sovereign on proposals for the introduction or acceptance of new honours, decorations and medals. It does not normally consider awards for individual people. If the eligibility of an individual member to a specific award were discussed, they would be expected to declare their interest and take no part in the discussion. It is not possible to say on how many occasions members of the Committee may have received an honour or a medal as a result of a policy recommendation by the Committee.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No8 people think not

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David Dilley
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 4:50 pm (Report this annotation)

The HD Comittee per se has been existence for 70 years; good.

But those of us who are campaigners for the right to wear the PJM are concerned only with the present and recent incumbents for whom we have reasons to doubt the fairness, flexibility, or legality of their decisions; we continue our campaign.

The PM stated that it was not possible to say on how many occasions members of the Committee have received an honour or medal as a result of a policy recommendation by the Commitee. Surely if he required his Senior Civil Servants to produce the information they would have to oblige? Or is he too, subject to their use of the Freedom of Information Act exemptions to avoid answering awkward questions? Mind you, we know how difficult it is to get an answer, even a questionable one.

Perhaps when he is replaced he could Goal Keep for Scotland; now there's a thought - Meg Munn and Gordon facing one another on a football pitch in a match between "the old enemies"! They appear to have qualified in the manner of goal keepers in the way they professionally deflect awkward questions in the House!

John Cooper
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 5:01 pm (Report this annotation)

Gordon Brown stated 'It is not possible to say on how many occasions members of the Committee may have received an honour or a medal as a result of a policy recommendation by the Committee'.

You only have to ask the present eight incumbents to the HD Committee Mr Brown, you surely are not fudging an issue are you?

Andy Nicoll
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 6:51 pm (Report this annotation)

Mr. Brown, why is it that the Labour Party who were at one time the Champions of the People of our Country are now the Keepers of the Status Quo and are doing everything, well most of them at the top, to maintain the Whitehall Village Imperialist control of the people of this country.
To say that you do not know, or cannot obtain certain information about the HD Committee is an absolute disgrace, both to yourself and your high office.
You said at one time when questioned about the Pingat Jasa Malaysia that 'I'll look into it'. Is this the best a Prime Minister of our country is prepared to go to assist its people, or don't you care anymore as you know that your popularity in this country is at zero.
The right to wear the PJM has been wrongly withheld from us for no other reason than the Royalists have decided that is the way it will be because they make the rules and ordinary people will do as they are told.
We may be ordinary people but there are many of us and we have the right in this democracy to wear or not wear what we like as long as we are not committing any criminal offence, and non-statutory rules which are discretionary do not constitute a criminal offence. Our Queen has turned her back on us, we have been discriminated against in the Commonwealth and we have been insulted by the MOD on their website. I hope your time as PM has been worthwhile because there are many in this country who think not.

Michael Barton
Posted on 3 Apr 2008 12:27 am (Report this annotation)

Mr Brown.
We shared something together on Friday last week, the rarified air of Aviemore. As a denizen of the village I knew you were ensconced behind the tank traps and the wooden pailings of Fort MacDonald but being an old man as well as an old soldier I at least expected a sight of your good self on the one and only street we have, as with a recent Royal who opened a Youth Centre. I even had a question for you in my old head, and in my pocket a genuine Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal along with a Veterans Badge so that I could show you the difference...but not a sign of you. Not a bairn kissed nor an auld wifey helped across the road so I can only say, "shame on you." You certainly came but you did not see and you certainly did not conquer.
Failing the acid test of getting you to spot the difference between an honourably earned medal and a lapel badge I can now at least ask you to answer the question that was in my head.....So, hand on heart, as a son of the Manse did you ever really look into the matter of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia? By 'look into' I do not mean an exchange of emails with the Honours and Decorations Committee, who would have given you the same stock answer we veterans have been fobbed off with for over two years, I mean did you go into the matter in depth? Did you investigate the easily accessible information to be found on the Fight4thePJM website? Did you consider the weight of support by the Honourable members of Parliament for our cause in the form of EDMs? Do you know anything about a London Gazette inclusion of 1968 from our Queen which I believe has been..."tampered with?"
Better men, and more informed than I would be only too willing to help you, Mr Brown, to see the full picture you need to examine to honestly say that you have truly "looked into" the Pingat Jasa Medal fiasco.