Armed Forces: Medals

Defence written question – answered on 11th October 2010.

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Photo of Russell Brown Russell Brown Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review his Department's decision that the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal may be received but not worn in the UK.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I have been asked to respond.

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (the HD Committee), which advises Her Majesty the Queen on matters of honours policy, made the decision that the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal could be received but not worn in December 2005.

The HD Committee, of which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is a member, has reviewed this decision on two separate occasions and in both cases upheld the original decision.

The FCO is not aware of any plans by the HD Committee to review this decision again.

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Tony M
Posted on 12 Oct 2010 2:41 pm (Report this annotation)

The current Veterans Minister has given a pledge to review all outstanding medal claims and award criteria, this is coalition government policy.

Is the government seriously telling us that the PJM will not form part of that full and transparent review process? If not I'd suggest it is quickly added, and the answer to this question is changed.

andrew nicoll
Posted on 13 Oct 2010 4:15 pm (Report this annotation)

So the decision to accept the PJM but not to wear it was made by the HD Committee and here was all of us veterans thinking that it had been made by HM the Queen and anyone wearing a medal without Her permission is being discourteous to our Queen. Now we know that we are being discourteous to the HD Committee if we do not obey their decisions.

Also, since when have civil servants been allowed to make decisions which breach the freedom, human rights, equality and democracy of ordinary British citizens. Seemingly we have been mistaken when we previously and genuinely believed that we were protected by the statutory law of our land and that elected members of parliament were entrusted with that duty of care to us. This statement seems to suggest that they also obey the commands of an unelected quango.

This decision by the HD Committee (as confirmed by Henry Bellingham MP above) usurps the Royal Warrant issued by Her Majesty and published in the London Gazette on 3rd May, 1969, that ‘all UK citizens, not being Crown servants, who have been given permission to accept a foreign award may wear it without restriction’.

Mr Bellingham MP appears to be unaware of the published declaration of the Coalition Programme for Government under paragraph 8 Defence…. ‘we will work to rebuild the military covenant’ and the promise to REVIEW THE RULES GOVERNING THE AWARDING OF MEDALS’. Some Conservatives seem to have a very short memory.

Russell Brown MP did make a statement that he would ask a question about the PJM in Parliament but no doubt he did not expect such a specious or vacuous answer as this.

Perhaps the government should consider changing the name of They Work for You to THEY WORK AGAINST YOU because this is what politicians do when they take over government. They are full of promises when seeking re-election but as soon as they get in they forget all about the promises they made to get in.