HC Deb 19 February 1907 vol 169 cc691-2
MR. BRAMSDON (Portsmouth)

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether tinned meat rations are carried on all ships in the Royal Navy, but that it is optional for messes to draw them unless at sea or on occasions when fresh meat cannot be obtained; that in order to ensure a reasonable turnover of stocks in hand the Admiralty, about twelve months ago, published a letter ordering this ration to be served to ships' companies one day a week, and that this has been regularly carried out ever since; whether, since the Chicago disclosures, this tinned meat is not generally used by the messes, and a sum of from 2s. to 3s. per week wasted to the mess in consequence; and, if so, will their Lordships be good enough to cause inquiries to be made, with a view to some action being taken in the matter.

(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, when the Chicago disclosures attracted public attention in June last the seamen, in common with the rest of the community, manifested considerable disinclination to consume corned beef of United States origin. The entire stocks of meat of this description in his Majesty's ships were accordingly withdrawn, and supplies of Australian or Argentine meat supplied in lieu, the men in the interim being given the option of taking fall savings. No complaints have since been received.