§ MR. W. FIELD
I beg to ask the Secretary for War (1) whether he is aware that any portion of the supplies and groceries and other canteen requisites for the troops stationed in Ireland are supplied by the Army and Navy Stores; (2) whether, upon a total sale of £7,500,000 in those Stores, the Income Tax is levied on a lower scale than that taken from retail traders; and (3) whether he is in a position to state when the promised Report on this matter will be issued?
§ *MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I have no knowledge of the fact alleged in the first paragraph, Canteen Committees generally being left to procure their supplies according to their own discretion without any interference from 930 the Military Authorities. The only exception of which I am aware is the recent case in the Cork district, and in that instance the interference of the General Officer Commanding was in the direction of procuring good articles at a moderate price within the district itself. As to the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, I have no information, but perhaps the Secretary to the Treasury could answer the hon. Gentleman.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir JOHN HIBBERT, Oldham)
As regards the 2nd paragraph of the hon. Member's question, the assessment to Income Tax on the Army and Navy Stores is made in the same manner as on other traders, that is, on the actual profits on an average of three years; the rate at which the duty is charged is, of course, the current rate in force. I know nothing of the Report alluded to in the 3rd paragraph.
MR. F. A. O'KEEFFE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, having regard to the statement that the recent order issued by the Commanding Officer of the Cork Military District regulating the supply of goods to the canteens in the south of Ireland would only continue for one month, whether, on the expiration of that period, tenders will be invited for the supply of the various necessary articles, as heretofore the custom in the garrison towns of Ireland?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The present arrangement is of a tentative character, and renewable month by month. I should be disposed to wait until we find how it succeeds before coming to any decision regarding it.