asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the enrolment and re-enrolment of Royal Fleet Reservists is suspended, thus depriving these ratings of the opportunity to obtain the gratuity to which they would be entitled after 22 years' combined active and reserve service; and whether he will now permit such re-enrolment to take place from the date of the expiration of the last contract of service?
It is true that the enrolment and re-enrolment of Royal Fleet reservists is suspended during the war. The gratuity to which my hon. Friend refers will, however, continue to be payable to any reservist already serving who completes the necessary period of combined naval and reserve service during the war. The engagements of men re-enrolled after the war will be ante-dated to the date of expiration of the last period of engagement or enrolment, so that the time which such men are now serving will count towards gratuity.