I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the awards of the meritorious conduct modal are made only to officers and non-commissioned officers above the rank of corporal; and, if so, whether there is any reason why the medal should not also be given to corporals and private soldiers.
The medal for meritorious service is not awarded to officers, but only to warrant officers and sergeants. It carries with it an annuity not exceeding £20, and since its institution has always been confined to soldiers, or discharged soldiers, above the rank of corporal. The sum allotted for these annuities is not more than sufficient to meet the claims of warrant officers and sergeants. Corporals and privates may, after eighteen years service with an irreproachable character, be awarded the medal for long service and good conduct with a gratuity of £5.