§ CAPTAIN DONELAN(for Mr. SWIFT MACNEILL, Donegal, S.) (Cork, E.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that there is discontent among the crews of the Channel Fleet with respect to the quality and quantity of the food supplied to the 920 ships, and that complaints with reference to the quality and quantity of the food are discountenanced by the officers, and regarded as evidence of insubordination; and whether he will direct an investigation independently conducted to be made as to whether the rations served on board Her Majesty's ships of the Channel Fleet are of the proper quality and quantity, and whether the Admiralty will direct the sale of provisions on board these ships to be discontinued, or provide that goods be sold at the canteens not at extortionate prices but at the prices at which similar goods are sold on shore.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
The reply to the first question is in the negative. With regard to the second question, I must refer the hon. Gentleman to the remarks made by the First Lord of the Admiralty in the course of the debate in this House on Thursday last.* The managing committee, which with two exceptions is composed of representatives of the men, should be competent to take precautions against extortionate prices being charged. As a matter of fact, it is understood that the goods sold in the canteens are retailed at a lower price than that at which they could be obtained by the men on shore.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN
Could not arrangements be made to supply the men in the Channel Fleet with home-fed meat?
§ MR. MACARTNEY
All the fresh meat supplied to the Channel Squadron is supplied at local ports by local merchants.