§ Lieut.-Colonel RAW
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, having 638W regard to the services of the Mercantile Marine during the War, he will consider the desirability of placing them on an equal footing with the fighting forces by awarding them the 1914–15 Star?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The Admiralty have had correspondence with the Mercantile Marine Service Association and the Imperial Merchant Service Guild on this subject, from which it is understood that the Mercantile Marine are dissatisfied at not receiving the 1914–15 Star. In view of the origin of this Star, which, as my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, was a development of the 1914 Star, the Admiralty are not prepared to recommend the extension of an award which sprang originally from the desire to give special recognition to the old Expenditnary Force which fought at Mons. The Admiralty have, however, on many occasions borne public testimony to their appreciation of the gallantry of the Mercantile Marine, and immediately after the Armistice they made recommendations which will place the Mercantile Marine in the position of being favourably treated in the matter of medals. An announcement will probably be issued on this subject by the Board of Trade simultaneously with the announcement of the award of war medals to the combatant forces of the Crown.