Friday, July 24, 1998 Published at 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
No pardon for 'deserters'
Many of those shot were still in their teens
In a statement to the House of Commons, the Armed Forces Minister Dr John Reid said the evidence supporting pardons "just does not exist".
The government is also considering adding the missing names to books of remembrance and war memorials throughout the country.
Conservative defence spokesman Keith Simpson said it would have been better for the government to stick to the status quo.
"The status quo - leave history alone - is perhaps the option we should still consider."
Marina Brewis, whose uncle was shot for desertion, said she was "very, very disappointed" with the government's decision.
In 1996 the Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay tabled an amendment to legislation giving the 306 men a pardon only to see it overturned by the then Conservative government.
"There's a danger of people criticising John Reid for the failures of ministers over eighty years.
"I think he's drawn a line under a chapter - and I use that word because I don't think this issue will go away. There was a terrible wrong done and to the extent he's able I think he has tried to remedy it today."
"The court of British public opinion has long since pardonned these men."
Campaigners argue that the executed soldiers were no less brave than their counterparts who fought but were unable to enter into combat due to shell shock and post traumatic stress syndrome.
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