HC Deb 30 March 1905 vol 143 cc1712-3

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the National Antarctic Expedition was supplied with Maconochie's vegetable rations; whether these rations, or the greater part of them, proved to be unfit for consumption; and whether the crew of the "Discovery" were in danger of an outbreak of scurvy from want of vegetables.


No rations were supplied by the Admiralty to the "Discovery." Some of the rations purchased by the Admiralty for the "Terra Nova" Relief Expedition were supplied by Messrs. Maconochie. But as regards that ship, there is no foundation whatever for the suggestion contained in the latter part of the hon. Member's Question.

*MR. MACONOCHIE (Aberdeenshire, E.)

As this question affects me personally, may I be allowed to make a statement to the House. No meat and vegetable rations similar to those supplied to South Africa were supplied to the "Discovery." The company did supply a quantity of general stores. The balance not consumed arrived in London in perfect order, and was passed by the Medical Officer of Health. Samples have been exhibited at 165, Queen Victoria Street, for many weeks past, and the bulk may be seen by the hon. Member if he wishes. Independent expert declarations have been received by the company proving the high quality of the goods. No complaint has been received. The whole of the books connected with these particular transactions are open to the inspection of the hon. Member, and every assistance and information will be given to him.


Order, order! This is not a personal explanation.


I wish to point out that this persistent system of pursuing a firm—


Order, order! Sit down.


I must ask hon. Members to leave me to take care of the order of the House. The hon. Member is now going beyond a personal explanation. If he is not satisfied with the very complete Answer given to the Question, he may add anything relating to the Answer to the Question, but he is going beyond that.


I fully appreciate the concession made to me, and will only say that I am as anxious as hon. Members for an early discussion, and shall be only too glad if it comes speedily.