§ MR. DARLING
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can extend the provisions as to the long service decoration to be awarded to noncommissioned officers of the Volunteers so as to include among those entitled to it those who, after a qualifying period of service, retired before January, 1893?
§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
At the same time, I will ask the right hon. Gentleman whether long service medals will only be granted to those Volunteers who were serving in the year 1893; and, if so, will he reconsider the arrangement, and award the medal to all who, since the inauguration of the Volunteer movement, have served the prescribed number of years to entitle them to the distinction?
§ *MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
It has not been considered practicable to include among the Volunteers eligible for the long service medal those who retired before 1893, mainly for this reason-namely, that the early records of Volunteer corps are necessarily of an imperfect character, and in some corps it is doubtful whether any exist. There are, therefore, no certain means of checking the services of possible claimants, and I have in consequence come to the conclusion that the difficulties in the way are too great to allow of retrospective effect being given to the grant of the medal.