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Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what rules govern appointments to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals; (193791)

(2) what criteria he applies in appointing members to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not responsible for the committee or for appointments to the committee. Appointments are made on an ex officio basis. The Secretariat for the committee is based in the Cabinet Office.

Members of the committee serve on an ex officio basis, as follows:

Secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood;

Defence Services Secretary;

Permanent Secretary, Home Office;

Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Her Majesty The Queen's Private Secretary;

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence; and

Head of the Home Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary is the Chair.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how often the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals meets; and where the minutes of its meetings are published. (193792)

The committee normally transacts business by correspondence. It met three times during 2005 and 2006 to consider papers relating to the programme of reform of the honours system. Minutes are not published.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals uses when making recommendations to Her Majesty on whether foreign campaign medals may be accepted; and whether these criteria have ever been set aside. (193826)

The criteria are set out in the Government’s rules governing the acceptance and wearing of foreign orders, decorations and dedals by citizens of the UK and her overseas territories. The Pingat Jasa Malaysia required a special exception in 2006. Similar exceptions were made for medals from the Saudi and Kuwaiti Governments after the first gulf war, as well as for the Greek War Medal, in 1992.

I will arrange for copies of the rules governing the acceptance and wearing of foreign orders, decorations and medals by citizens of the UK and her overseas territories to be placed in the Library of the House.