COLONEL LONG (Worcestershire, Evesham)
To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he could state what is the average cost per head borne by officers in the Army for their daily messing, and the expenses of servants and upkeep of the mess; whether any and, if so, what is the average value of rations provided to officers in the Army at the public cost; and whether the cost or any part of the cost of cooks and waiters required to keep up the officers' messing is provided at the public cost.
§ (Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) For infantry subalterns at Home the average cost per head for daily messing may be taken at 4s. Towards the ordinary expenses of the mess each officer pays a subscription not exceeding eight days pay, and towards incidental expenses not covered by this subscription he pays a sum not exceeding 10s. a month. No rations are granted to officers at Home. At stations abroad, where expenses are high, officers receive a Colonial allowance, under paragraph 290 Allowance Regulations, in aid of the extra cost of living. A free ration or an allowance in lieu is given to every officer at foreign stations. Mess allowances are granted annually in aid of the maintenance of regimental messes at rates set forth in the Allowance Regulations, paragraphs 529 to 531; in the case of an infantry subaltern these come to about £6 a head. In the case of the mounted branches the expenses are a little greater than in the infantry.