Rock n' Roll Generation

Rock n' Roll Generation
  • Title: Early Day Motion on the award of the MBE to the Beatles

  • Date : 1965

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HC/CL/JO/6/1568

  • Description :

    In June 1965 Queen Elizabeth II appointed each of the Beatles a Member of the British Empire (MBE) following their nomination by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Normally presented to military veterans or civil servants, the controversial decision to honour the Beatles led to some former MBE recipients returning their awards. Although the return of awards was not uncommon, this was the highest level of protest in many years.

    This Early Day Motion (EDM) shows the Beatles had some support in Parliament for receiving the MBE, and recognises the worldwide success they achieved particularly in America.  The EDM however was only supported by a small minority of Members, with the majority not agreeing with the principle that a popular music group should be granted such an honour. 

    The Beatles were referenced 62 times in Hansard during the decade.


  • Transcript:

    AWARD TO THE BEATLES: That this House, recognising the great good and happiness that the Beatles have brought to millions throughout the world, and recognising that they are the first entertainment group that has captured the American market and has brought in its wake great commercial advantage in dollar earning to this country, strongly appreciated the award to the Beatles of the M.B.E.

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