HC Deb 03 June 1907 vol 175 cc275-6
MR. SEAVERNS (Lambeth, Brixton)

To ask the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the effort being made to improve the preparation of food in the mercantile marine, he will consider the possibility of effecting some improvement in the preparation of food for the men of His Majesty's land forces quartered in barracks or cantonments; and, with the object of securing greater variety of food than now exists, will he consider the possibility of effecting improvements by letting the catering to outside contractors bound to employ soldiers in the preparation of the foods supplied.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) The improvements made in late years in preparation of the soldiers' food have been very great, and have had the best results. Both general officer commanding and officers commanding units take keen interest in the matter. To let the catering to outside contractors would result in relieving officers and men of the responsibility and interest they now take in arranging for a palatable dietary. Further, contractors could not accompany an army in the field for this purpose, and the food of the soldier would consequently suffer at a time when it is imperative that it should be of the best.