HC Deb 07 October 1942 vol 383 cc1221-2
69. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in appreciation of the splendid service rendered to the nation by Royal Fleet reservists in the early stages of hostilities, he will consider the amendment of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions to enable Royal Fleet Reservists who have completed 15 years' active service, with the necessary good conduct, to be awarded the Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal with gratuity, without regard to the condition of continuous service?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

While I gladly take this opportunity of acknowledging the splendid war service rendered by Royal Fleet Reservists, and indeed by all classes of Naval Reservists, I do not feel able to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion. The Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the associated gratuity are awarded to men who serve on for pension, and one of its purposes is thus to offer an inducement to men to sign on for continuous service in the Royal Navy after the expiration of their original engagement. The Royal Fleet Reservists can qualify for the Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal after 15 years combined Naval and Reserve service. They also have a special system of service gratuities.

Mr. Edwards

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is no gratuity at all paid in respect of the Royal Fleet Reserve Long Service Medal? According to his answer the impression is given that often in such case there is a gratuity payable.

Mr. Alexander

I am aware that, as the hon. Member says, it is not specially attached to the medal. I simply said that there are special gratuities paid to Royal Fleet Reserve men.