DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – ARCTIC CONVOY MEDAL – 21 June 2004
[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin): The Suez Medal is one from this Government to those veterans. … We in this Government have righted an injustice to ensure that those Suez veterans have a medal.]
Dr Julian Lewis: It is a bit rich for the Government to claim credit for the issuing of the Suez Canal Medal and Clasp, when they did so under pressure from hon. Members on both sides of the House, as they know. Given the difficulty faced in the issuing of those medals and clasps, which is likely to take at least two years to complete, what effect will the closure of the Army Medal Office have on the issuing of the Artic Convoy medal, when the Government are eventually forced into issuing that medal, too – a commitment given by the Leader of the Opposition, but not yet endorsed by the Government? However, we can be as sure as anything that, when they do endorse it, they will claim credit for having done so all along.