§ 28. Sir B. FALLE
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty if men of the Royal Navy who have been awarded the good conduct medal before 1st May, 1919, and have been killed in action or died of wounds before they have enjoyed the medal for one year are ineligible for any monetary reward; if he will inquire into this matter and see that men who have been killed in action, etc., shall not be subject to Regulations made for times of peace; and if he will place the men so killed before 1st May, 1919, in the same position as those killed, etc., after that date?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, the gratuity payable to holders of the good conduct medal who died before 1st May, 1919, having been dependent, under the Regulations then in force, on complete years of service and rank subsequent to the award of the medal. These conditions were applicable to both peace and war service, the qualification for an award being continuance of "Very Good" character, and as, in common with other concessions arising from the Report of the Navy Pay Committee, the revised 383 Regulations governing payment of good conduct gratuities became operative from 1st May, 1919, I regret that retrospective effect cannot be given to them in the cases of men who were killed prior to that date.
§ Sir B. FALLE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the number of these men is very small? If they are killed in action, could he not lessen the severity of the rule?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
I am afraid not. This matter has been settled, and I do not think it is possible to open it again.