HC Deb 18 March 1879 vol 244 c1157

asked the Secretary of State of War, Whether his attention has been drawn to the great independence of transport, and consequent facilities for rapid movement, stated to be given to troops in the field by their being supplied with the portable and consolidated ration called "Erbswürst;" how many days' supply of this ration, calculated for the whole force now on the way to Lord Chelmsford and that already with him, has been sent to the Cape; and, whether the supply so sent has been re-packed in boxes suitable for conveyance in the field?


Sir, my attention has been drawn to the subject. There are many kinds of consolidated rations, this "erbswürst" being only one of them. The subject was investigated by a Committee last spring, and they recommended that a preparation of pea-soup, which, I believe, is what is meant by the term, employed by the hon. and gallant Member, should be issued to the troops on active service when they are carrying their own supplies for a day or more, being cut off from their supply waggons. It is not a substitute for the ordinary rations, but only for groceries and other articles of which they would be unavoidably deprived. There have been nine days' supplies sent out for the whole Force, and I believe there is more to be sent, or is on its way. The whole supply has been re-packed in field-services cases.