HC Deb 24 April 1963 vol 676 c198
12. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Secretary of State for War when Mr. J. W. Sayer of 39 Gordon Road, Beckenham, Kent, who was recommended for the Meritorious Service Medal during World War I and received it in 1952, may expect to receive the gratuity attached to this medal.

Mr. Ramsden

Mr. Sayer is on the roll of Meritorious Service Medal annuitants, and he will receive the £10 annuity in his turn. We are at the moment making awards to men born in 1885, and I would therefore expect Mr. Sayer to receive his in about four years' time.

Mr. Goodhart

Cannot my hon. Friend be a little more generous in this matter? Surely it should now be possible to pay this £10 gratuity to all people who were recommended for this medal in the First World War—forty years ago.

Mr. Ramsden

There is some misunderstanding here. The medal is normally awarded to N.C.O.s in recognition of long and meritorious service, and anyone who was recommended for an annuity on these grounds before the end of the First World War would be receiving it by now. According to my information, Mr. Sayer was not recommended for the Meritorious Service Medal until 1937; it was the Military Medal and Bar which he received in the First World War.

Mr. Paget

Is not this a case for a good rather than a bad heart?

Mr. Ramsden

The present policy was devised in 1950 by the hon. and learned Member's Government, and it has stood up fairly well since.