New Forest East

DEFENCE – ARCTIC STAR – 14 March 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: As the Minister is about to become a sort of Ministry of Defence veteran himself, may I wish him well? Surely it is most important for veterans that we recognise their achievements. I have taken the opportunity to look at the documents relating to the non-award of the Arctic Star immediately after the Second World War. From looking at those documents, it seems that it was never considered whether a separate star should be awarded. Will he look again at the matter because the badge that has been awarded does not fulfil the need and the problem of clashing with Buckingham Palace should not arise as the issue was never seriously considered in the first place?

[Veterans Minister Ivor Caplin: The hon. Gentleman started by talking about recognition and the fact that we are properly recognising the Arctic convoys with the emblem that has been announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is a proper and effective way forward. ...

Richard Ottaway: Further to the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest, East (Dr Lewis), can the Minister explain why a medal was given five years ago for the Suez campaign, but not for the Arctic convoys?

Mr Caplin: The Suez campaign was never considered by the appropriate committee. The hon. Gentleman will recall that the decision to award the Suez medal was taken in 2003, just two years ago, by this Government.]