§ Mr. James Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now take steps to enable the payment of a gratuity to holders of the Military Medal of the 1914–18 war similar to the payment made to holders of the Military Medal in the 1939–45 war; if he will make the payment retrospective; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Boyden
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Goole (Mr. George Jeger) on 2nd February 1966 in answer to a similar Question, as a result of which the matter was looked at again. It was found that there were some 35,000 surviving holders of the Military Medal from the first World War. To award a gratuity to this number could cost £700,000 and I do not think such a large expenditure of defence funds could be justified. If payment were also extended to dependants the cost and administrative difficulties would be further increased.—[Vol. 723, c. 1078].