It is estimated that up to the end of last week about 430,000 applications had been received at the Admiralty. The qualifying service of many of the applicants has been confirmed and payment is beginning at once. It will inevitably take many months to dispose of all the claims. I am glad to be able to take an opportunity to inform the House that the result of the latest calculations has enabled my noble Friend to fix £4 4s. instead of the £4 stated in the Press as the value of a unit share of prize money.
Although the increase is a small one, we welcome it. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware how gratified we feel that he took the advice of the mathematicians behind me who, during the passage of the Navy Prize Bill, maintained that if he went back to the till, further money could be found? Is this a final decision or is there a chance of a further examination and still more money being found?
Much as I would like to give the credit to the hon. Gentleman's statisticians, I must give it to the Admiralty's statisticians. We always said the amount would be about £4, and it is four guineas. I may add for the interest of the House that the first remittances will be despatched tonight.