§ Sir JOHN BUTCHER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty have issued regulations to the effect that officers holding commissions in the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve engaged on boom-defence duties are not entitled to the 1914–15 star; whether these officers, when volunteering their services, offered to go when and where required; whether service on the boom defence has entailed considerable hardship and danger; whether many of these officers have frequently applied for transfers to other branches of the naval service but were definitely informed that the work upon which they were engaged was of such an important nature that they could not be shifted and that applications for transfers of the kind would not be entertained; whether senior naval officers in charge of these boom defences have reported highly on the services of these officers; and whether he will 596 be prepared to reconsider this matter with a view to these officers being regarded as eligible for the 1914–15 star?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The 1914–15 star is granted only for service at sea or in theatres of military operations abroad and is not extended to any harbour services such as boom defence. It is quite true that a number of officers applied at various times for transfer to more active services, but in most cases it was obviously impossible to grant such requests without detriment to the efficiency of the work; and this equally applies to other branches of the service demanding special knowledge and practical experience. I should like to bear testimony to the efficient way in which the work has been carried out, but I am afraid the regulations affecting the star must stand.