§ 16. Mr. ROBINSON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, with a view to avoiding waste at the various 1477 camps, he will cause to be issued a circular letter to the commanding officers instructing them to appoint an officer whose duty it shall be to see that rations are issued only for those men actually in camp and not for those absent on leave, and otherwise to see observed the strictest economy?
§ Mr. TENNANT
Circular letters of instructions have already been sent out to General Officers Commanding in regard to the prevention of waste of supplies. Instructions have also been issued to ensure that rations are issued only for men actually in camp and not for those absent on leave. Officers commanding units are themselves responsible for all matters affecting regimental economy.
§ 17. Mr HIGHAM
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that firms contracting with the War Office find it impossible to get any empties returned; that munition cases are broken up and burned though valuable; and that jam makers are in difficulties for packing because no jars or empty cases are returned, though thousands of pounds' worth are lying in waste-heaps at encampments; and if he is aware that the conduct of the War Office forms a contrast with private traders, who are as careful in returning empties and getting credit for them as they are in making the best use of the contents?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The practice of the Department is to return the cases which contained equipment or munitions to the contractors if required Supplies for the Army are usually obtained in non-returnable cases, but in the exceptions the empties are returned. Jam is not now obtained in jars. If the hon. Member will furnish me with particulars of any specific case where waste of the character referred to is occurring I shall be glad to have inquiries made.
§ 34. Sir W. BYLES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now inform the House what steps have been taken, or are in contemplation, by the War Office and the Treasury to reduce the avoidable waste in military expenditure?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
I would refer my hon. Friend to the speeches made by the Prime Minister in the Debate on the Vote of Credit yesterday.