Major-General Sir J. DAVIDSON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that, although the Admiralty promised in the early part of the year that the final distribution of prize money to ex-service men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines should be made concurrently with the final distribution to the active service ratings, there are still large numbers of ex-service men who have not yet received their share; whether he can explain this long delay, in view of the fact that the final distribution to the active service is practically complete; and will he make inquiries, with a view to the matter receiving immediate attention, bearing particularly in mind the large number of men affected and the consequent hardship to these men, many of whom are out of employment?857W
§ Mr. AMERY
As stated in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth on the 28th June, the final distribution of naval prize money is expected to extend over a period of at least nine months. Ex-service claimants largely outnumber those on active service, and there is no avoidable delay in dealing with them. Owing, however, to the fact that each ex-service application has to be dealt with separately, and requires to be supported by proofs of identity, these claims take much the longer time to deal with, but every effort is being made with the reduced staff available to accelerate the issue. Cases of distress have priority of treatment. It is not a fact that payment to the active service is practically complete.