§ 54 Mr. RENDALL
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the managers of the South African Garrison Institutes have a credit balance in hand of about £100,000 derived mostly from trading with the Army on active service in the South African war; whether the managers have suggested the creation with such money of a trading concern in this country which should have exclusive rights of trading with the Army in one or more garrison towns in the United Kingdom; (2) whether the circular issued by the South African Garrison Institute was sanctioned by the War Office in which the management state that sales to 11,000 troops in South Africa amounted to over £370,000 per annum, and that to the 130,000 troops in the United Kingdom, with similar results, the turnover would approximate to £4,000,000 per annum; and (3) if the War Office have reason to com plain that the traders in garrison towns fail to supply necessary articles of good quality and reasonable price, and on fair conditions, to soldiers who require them; and, if not, will he take steps to see that these traders are not seriously injured, and possibly ruined, by the proposal that the South African Garrison Institute funds should be used to create virtual State competition, with the advantages of a monopoly?
§ Mr. TENNANT
A proposal for extending to this country the trading system of the South African Garrison Institutes making use for this purpose of the balance in the hands of the management in South Africa was referred to the War Office, who were unable to afford official sanction or special facilities to the scheme beyond allowing to the promoters freedom to negotiate the matter with General Officers Commanding-in-Chief. The whole question is, however, now under consideration by the Army Council, whose attention will be directed to the points brought to notice by my hon. Friend.