Orders of the Day — ROYAL NAVAL VOLUNTEER RESERVE BILL. [Lords.]

– in the House of Commons on 9th June 1942.

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Considered in Committee, and reported, without Amendment.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

I do not propose to impede the passage of this Bill, but there are two questions I wish to ask the Minister in charge. He will recall that on Second Reading I expressed the hope that he would persuade those concerned in his Department to give some attention to the codifying of the various Acts of Parliament which deal with Admiralty matters. I pointed out that even in this limited Measure there are references to three main Measures. So far as I can see, this is the second Bill amending the Act of 1859 which has been presented in recent years. The last one had a reference to certain payments coming to these volunteer reservists which were then commuted for a £5 grant. I wanted to know whether that matter was in any way affected by this Bill. The other point was whether it in any way affected the service of these volunteer reservists counting towards the long service and good conduct medal.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

My hon. Friend did raise the question of bringing these Acts up to date and codifying them; I can assure him that this matter is engaging the attention of the Admiralty. He will realise, of course, that it would be difficult to do this during the period of the war. I assure him that the matter will be further considered when the war is over. My hon. Friend referred also to the Act of 1927. The Amendment which brought about the legislation of 1927 was for a different purpose. Under that Act, the detention pay was discontinued, and a grant up to £5 was made to the reservists when they were called up to rejoin the Service. That is the position at the present time. On mobilisation, the £5 is paid to the Royal Naval Reserve and to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Those who are mobilised would prefer it this way rather than have it spread over at the rate of 2d. a day.

My hon. Friend raised the question also of the continuous service men detained under Royal Proclamation after their engagement has expired and who have been re-engaged for pension, and he asks whether they are allowed to count that time towards the award of good conduct or long-service medals. Some are and some are not. In the main it may be said that they are. There is some difficulty in agreeing that it should apply to the reservists who are mobilised, because this matter is linked up with the question of the time which counts for pension, but I think I can tell my hon. Friend that we shall consider the point which he has put. If it can be met, we shall meet it.

Question, "The Bill be now read the Third time," put, and agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed, without Amendment.