§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will explain why £150,000 worth of Army rations were recently destroyed by order of the authorities in the Transvaal instead of being sold.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
A large quantity of tinned rations were found by a Board of Officers to have so much deteriorated as to be unfit for consumption, and, in accordance with the advice of the expert medical officers, were destroyed. Under the regulations, 15 supplies which have been condemned as unfit for issue as food for the troops, owing to deterioration, are not to be sold, but destroyed. The General Officer Commanding South Africa has been instructed to report fully on the matter by mail.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what was the value of the food destroyed, and by whom it was supplied?
§ MR. BRODRICK
I cannot give the value of the rations until I have received the Report. As regards the firms who provided it, it is the universal custom of those firms not to keep a very large supply, because after a certain time tinned goods of this character deteriorate. But, of course, the amount of rations in South Africa at the close of the war was vastly greater in extent of what would have been supplied if we had known the troops would be so quickly withdrawn.