HC Deb 02 July 1919 vol 117 cc936-7
5. Major O'NEILL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the recent in- crease of the pay of coast watchers in Ireland to 25s. 6d. per week is intended to represent the only war bonus which these men are to get; and, if so, will he say on what grounds they are being refused an adequate war gratuity in view of the services which they have rendered to the country in face of great discomforts and dangers?


The pay of the coast watchers has recently been increased, as my hon. and gallant Friend's question indicates, to 25s. 6d. a week—a substantial increase in a great many cases. It is not proposed to add to that figure. I may, perhaps, be permitted to say that the question of awarding the war medal to coast watchers and Boy Scouts with one year or more service is now under consideration.


Are we to understand that these men, many of whom have undergone great dangers and hardships in parts of the seas where submarines were very active, are to get nothing in the shape of war gratuity for all the services they have rendered to the country?


That, I am afraid, is the case. I should be very glad to hear any views the hon. and gallant Gentleman has upon it and forward them to the proper authorities.