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Africa Ribbon And Star

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the Prime Minister when it is proposed to issue the Africa ribbon and star; and the reason for the delay?

So far as the ribbon is concerned, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Wing Commander James) on 4th November. As I informed the House on 3rd August, the manufacture of the Star is to be postponed until after the war. If issued, it would not, during the continuance of hostilities, be worn by serving personnel, and the diversion of the necessary labour, machinery and material for this service would not, in the circumstances, be justified at the present time. The ribbon is quite a different matter.

If my hon. and gallant Friend had not been detained by his military duties, he would have heard that 345,000 ribbons are already in North Africa, and I think that 33,000 of the general service ribbon have already been issued in this country.

May I assure my right hon. Friend that I did read his answer most carefully, although I was not here, but I did not understand whether the ribbons had actually been issued to the troops or sent out to Africa?

They have been sent with very strong injunctions that commanding officers should do their very best to endeavour to enable these men to wear this ribbon as soon as possible, even if a few mistakes might be made.