§ 45. Mr. Lipton
asked the Prime Minister whether he will recommend that the national day of remembrance be changed from November to May, during which month the Second World War ended in Europe.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)
I have been asked to reply.
I understand that the date of Remembrance Day was very carefully considered by the then Government in 1945 and 1946 in consultation with representatives of the churches and the British Legion and with Commonwealth Governments, and that many possible dates, including that suggested by the hon. Member, were considered. Lord Attlee announced on 19th June, 1946, that the King had approved a recommendation that Remembrance Sunday should be celebrated on the Sunday before 11th November, unless the 11th or 12th of November were a Sunday. 569 In 1956, Sir Anthony Eden announced an alteration to the rule by which Remembrance Sunday would always be observed in future on the second Sunday in November. This change was made to avoid inconvenience. Her Majesty's Government do not intend to make any further alteration now.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, for health reasons, November parades are beginning to be a little more difficult for the older men of the 1914–18 war and that for the present generation of ex-Service men the war ended in May, 1945? Would it not be sensible to have Remembrance Day in May, and will the Prime Minister have further consultations with the ex-Service men's associations about the matter?
§ Mr. Butler
I am sure that my right hon. Friend will always be ready to listen to any representations from ex-Service men's associations, but there are many strong and poignant associations with the month of November and we should alter the date only with great care.