HC Deb 28 September 1909 vol 11 cc1090-1

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that at the Army manoeuvres one marquee for officers' mess is allowed per regiment and battalion, and that the unit arranges with a private contractor to supply them with food, and in the Guards' Brigade, at least, their living is similar to that in barracks, every evening getting a dinner of six or seven courses and wines; that the private soldier, on the other hand, receives daily one pound of meat, one pound of bread or biscuit, and preserved meat; and if he intends making the method of living more equal?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane)

In a standing camp a marquee is allowed for the officers' mess, but during manoeuvres it is seldom available, and officers bivouac with their men. The standard of the officers' messing is entirely a matter of private arrangement by them. The hon. Member has not fully stated the soldiers' messing, which includes tea, salt, sugar, biscuits, cheese, vegetables, bacon, condensed milk, and butter or margarine.


Is it not a fact that they have to pay extra for these little luxuries?


No, Sir; these are included in the messing.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the officers, including the general, very often slept upon the ground in their great coats in the wet, and is there any foundation for the charge made by the hon. Member?


There has been no charge.