HC Deb 15 February 1900 vol 79 c78
MR. FLYNN () Cork, N.

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he can state how many officers on active service are connected with the Canteen and Mess Co-operative Society; and is not this society an association trading for profit; and if so, is it consistent with the Queen's Regulations that officers on active service should engage in trade competition with taxpaying traders and contractors.


Eleven officers of the Imperial Army on the active list hold shares in the Canteen and Mess Co-operative Society, representing in all capital to the amount of £821, or a maximum annual dividend of £41 1s., which gives an average annual income of about £3 15s. a head. The hon. Member has been informed in the House more than once that this is not a trading association but a provident society, conforming in every way with the conditions laid down for such societies in the Provident Societies Act, 1893. As such it is not contrary to the Queen's Regulations for officers on the active list to take part in its management.


Is it not a fact that this provident society pays a dividend of 5 per cent., and is there anything to-prevent the relatives of the officers holding a large number of shares?


I have stated precisely what the interest of the officers amounts to—they get about £3 15s. each a year.