HC Deb 02 July 1919 vol 117 cc935-6
3. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction which exists among the personnel of the Mercantile Marine consequent upon their exclusion from the award of the 1914–15 Star; and if the intention to bestow another award will be reconsidered in view of the unpopularity with which this announcement has been received?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wavertree on Monday last. In the course of that reply I stated that in view of the origin of this Star, which, as my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, was a development of the 1914 Star, the Admiralty are not prepared to recommend the extension of an award which sprang originally from the desire to give special recognition to the old Expeditionary Force which fought at Moms. I went on to add, however, that the Admiralty have on many occasions borne public testimony to their appreciation of the gallantry of the Mercantile Marine, and immediately after the Armistice they made recommendations which will place the Mercantile Marine in the position of being favourably treated in the matter of medals. An announcement will probably be issued on this subject by the Board of Trade simultaneously with the announcement of the award of war medals to the combatant forces of the Crown.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the feeling in the Navy is very strong that their comrades in the Mercantile Marine should have this star the same as the rank and file of the Navy?


I was not aware of it, but I will take it from my hon. and gallant Friend. The latter part of my answer shows how we hope to requite the services of these gallant men in a fitting manner.


May I ask that the decision of the Admiralty should be reconsidered in view of the feeling that exists amongst the Mercantile Marine?


I will put the hon. Member's view before the proper authorities.

Brigadier-General Sir OWEN THOMAS

Is some other form of decoration contemplated?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman had better read the latter part of my answer.

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