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Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who was consulted before the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals decided veterans should accept, but not wear, the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal. (196183)

Ministers and officials in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office and staff of the Ceremonial Secretariat (Cabinet Office) and Buckingham palace were consulted before the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals took the decision that the medal could be accepted but not worn. The Malaysian authorities were also included in discussions prior to the decision being taken.

All members of the Committee itself took part in the discussions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations have been received from (a) veterans’ organisations, (b) individuals and (c) hon. and right hon. Members calling on the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to reconsider its advice to HM the Queen on not allowing veterans to wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal. (196239)

We have received many representations from individuals, veterans’ organisations and hon. Members on this issue. To collate the exact number would incur disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the rules governing the award of foreign honours, decorations and medals were last reviewed. (196240)

The rules governing the award of foreign honours, decorations and medals have been reviewed and revised on a number of occasions over the last 150 years, and were last discussed early in 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any past or present members of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals has been awarded and accepted an honour, decoration or medal from a foreign, Commonwealth or UK dependency government. (196245)

The Honours and Decorations Committee dates back to the 1930s. It would incur disproportionate cost to check all potential awards to members dating back to its inception.

However we are aware of examples, in recent years, of when Her Majesty The Queen's Private Secretaries, who customarily serve on the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals, have received such decorations in their role as senior representative of Her Majesty The Queen in the context of close relations with or visits involving Her Majesty's Realms. As Her Majesty The Queen is Head of State in Realm countries, no permission is required to accept such awards.