That Merchant Navy sailors were paid considerably more than Armed Guard personnel cannot be disputed, nor can the fact that it was resented, although not by all Navy men.
Most of us in the Armed Guard appreciated that many who went to sea as merchant mariners were not physically eligible for service in the armed forces but were makin a genuine contribution to the war effort. Surely, few were in it for the money.
Bob Higgins' account of merchant sailors passing the hat and sharing the proceeds with the Armed Guard is not unique. I never had that experience but heard many similar stories.
As for recognition, or a lack of it, this is something shared by Armed Guard and Merchant Navy sailors. This is not going to change, and in my view it doesn't matter much. It was all a long time ago. We know what we did, all of us, and we can take pride in that.