§ 33. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that on the recent occasion when men of a Bantam Regiment were employed at the Birkenhead Gasworks, in place of men on strike, alcoholic and other refreshments of the value of upwards of £70 were supplied to the soldiers by order of the commanding officer; if he will state under what authority this was done; and whether, as the expense was incurred at the instance of the commanding officer, the War Office is prepared to defray it and not have it imposed upon the ratepayers 1976 of Birkenhead, who had no control in the matter?
The officer commanding the battalion reports that no arrangements were made by him or by the officer in charge of the working party to supply the men with liquor. Beer of a light kind had been ordered by the manager of the gasworks for his own men still working in the neighbourhood, and he extended the issue to the soldiers. The officer in charge, on becoming aware of this, restricted the issue to an allowance of one pint of beer per man per shift of eight hours.