HC Deb 24 March 1899 vol 69 cc326-7
MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, with reference to the Committee which is sitting at Aldershot to inquire into the system of garrison and regimental canteens, whether the Government will enlarge the scope of the inquiry so as to include the prevalent habit of giving and accepting commissions for the provision and sale of liquor in Army canteens; whether, seeing that the United States Legislature has, owing to the experience of the detrimental effect of the canteen system during the late Spanish-American War on the health of its army, unanimously passed a Bill entirely abolishing the liquor canteen in the United States army, the Aldershot Committee should be requested to report on the advisability of similar steps being taken in this country and the possibility of our present canteen system being replaced by facilities being more extended to soldiers than at present of purchasing a limited amount of beer to be consumed with their dinner; and whether the Report of the Committee, when the inquiry has been completed, will be laid before the House?


The terms of reference to the Committee cover the point referred to in the first paragraph of the Question. It is not proposed to refer to the Committee the point raised in the second paragraph, nor is it proposed to lay the Report, when completed, before the House.


May I ask will the honourable Gentleman take into considera- tion the desirability of calling for a Report from the United States Military Attaché on the subject in question?


I should like to have Notice of that Question.