HC Deb 15 February 1900 vol 79 c79

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether commanding officers of regiments in Ireland will be allowed freedom in connection with future contracts for groceries, provisions, and other articles supplied to regimental canteens; whether under present arrangements these contracts are practically decided by staff officers, though they are of entirely regimental character according to Queen's regulations; and will the War Office give instructions to commanding officers to procure supplies from local contractors in cases where price, quality, and conditions of supply are satisfactory.


General officers have power to make district contracts when they consider it in the interests of the troops. There is no reason for depriving the general officers in Ireland of this discretionary power. District contracts are decided by boards composed of regimental officers drawn from all parts of a district and not of staff officers, though a staff officer with special knowledge regarding supplies generally attends to give advice. There is no reason for fettering general or other commanding officers in their choice of the source from which they may purchase supplies for canteens.


I thank the hon. Gentleman for his answer. But may I ask him if it is not a fact that the officers who decide as to these contracts are connected with the Canteen and Mess Co-operative Society.

[No answer was given.]