§ MR. BOWERMAN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty what quantities of mustard, pepper, flour, and oatmeal have been contracted for with private firms; whether he is aware that, during the past few years, the Government have discontinued the manufacture and preparation of mustard, pepper, flour, and oatmeal at Deptford; whether the steam cooperage is practically idle; and whether it is intended to return to the former practice of having these orders supplied from Government establishments.
§ MR. LAMBERT
; The quantities contracted for since the commencement of the current financial year are as follows— mustard, 40,000 lbs.; pepper, 30,000 lbs.; flour, 2,700,000 lbs.; oatmeal, 35,000 lbs. The manufacture of mustard and pepper in the victualling yards was discontinued in 1896–7, and that of flour and oatmeal in 1903–4. The steam cooperage was discontinued in 1898–9. Modern naval conditions having rendered possible the adoption of cheaper forms of packages, the use of the old service casks has been much reduced, and is altogether too small to enable a steam cooperage to be worked economically. There is no intention of reversing these decisions, as to do so would only mean extra expense.