§ MR. CHAULES COLSTON (Gloucester, Thornbury)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the fact that the good conduct medal is greatly prized by Warrant Officers, who find its possession of great value to them when seeking civil employment, and the further fact that members of the Army who attain Warrant rank before 18 years' service are under present regulations debarred from receiving this particular medal, the Government would place them on the same footing as those who become Warrant Officers after having served 18 years in the Army?
I would refer my hon. Friend to a, reply made in this House in 1894 by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stirling District on this subject, in which the Secretary of State fully concurs. The point of that answer was that Warrant rank is in itself a better testimony of good conduct than any medal could afford. The wish of the military authorities is to make the status of a Warrant Officer approach more nearly to that of a Commissioned Officer than to the conditions which hold in the ranks, and they consider that to reward a Warrant Officer for ordinary good conduct by the grant of a medal would be a step in the opposite direction.