§ 63. Mr. Symonds
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why a man of whom full particulars have been sent to him, who served in the Navy as a sick berth petty officer from 1939–1946, spent several years at sea, suffered bombing in Tobruk harbour, and took part in the D-day landings, is considered ineligible for a share of prize money.
The applicant to whom my hon. Friend refers based his claim on service in a hospital ship and on 34 days' service in a tank landing ship. In no circumstances could hospital ships have properly taken part in a prize capture and service in these ships is therefore no service at sea within the meaning of that term as defined in the Royal Proclamation of 4th March, 1949. on prize money. The 34 days' service spent by the applicant in a tank landing ship is qualifying service but does not meet the requirement of 180 days' qualifying service.
§ Mr. Symonds
As prize money is nowadays an extra gratuity for services at sea for a period in a combat area, would it be possible from some other source to make a comparable ex gratia payment to the small number of men involved in circumstances like these, so as to relieve the sense of unfairness?
It is not an ex gratia payment. It is based on certain principles. There are a number of people, in cases similar to the case raised by my hon. Friend, who have not been able to secure the payment because it did not come within those categories.