CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – TERRITORIAL ARMY – 6 February 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: Is my hon. Friend [Patrick Mercer] aware that my hon. Friends the hon. Members for Canterbury (Julian Brazier) and for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne), who are present, are holders of the Territorial Decoration? The Government scrapped that decoration in 1999. What does he think that that has done for the morale of Territorial Army officers?

Although the Government introduced a new decoration common to both officers and other ranks, which is a good thing, Territorial Army officers no longer have the incentive of the right to place letters after their name. Is it not ironic that that should have been done by politicians, who are only too glad to give themselves awards that permit them to place many letters after their names?