§ Mr. SITCH
asked the Secretary of State for War if he can consider the desirability of awarding a special decoration somewhat on the lines, but in addition thereto, of the long service and good conduct medal to men who have completed the specified period though in different spheres and in different branches of His Majesty's Forces?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Medals in recognition of length of service combined with good conduct and efficiency already exist for award to the personnel of all branches of His Majesty's land forces. The conditions of service in the various branches of these forces differ so widely that the award of a new medal in recognition of the total service rendered is not considered advisable. The institution of such a medal would, moreover, tend to diminish the value of the existing long service and good conduct medals, which at the present time are much sought after and highly prized.
§ Captain HACKING
asked the Secretary of State for War whether any decorations or awards have been made during the War to any Army ranks, proceeding to their military destination, for gallantry in action against the enemy whilst at sea; and, if so, whether he will state the numbers of each kind of decoration or award granted under such conditions?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Such rewards have been conferred from time to time on officers, soldiers, and nurses, either through the medium of the half-yearly "Honours Gazettes" or as immediate awards by Commanders-in-Chief in the Field. They have been conferred both for gallantry and devotion in action against the enemy in the circumstances indicated by my hon. and gallant Friend, and in connection with the saving of life when ships have been sunk or damaged by enemy action. There is no record available of the total number of such rewards and mentions in dispatches, and the preparation of a list would necessitate a 1157W great deal of research, which I am afraid could not, under present circumstances, be undertaken.