HC Deb 21 October 1915 vol 74 cc1996-8
67 Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War what is the total sum of money paid to Messrs. Perfect and Company for supervision of the storage, inspection, and delivery of meat to the troops from 4th August, 1914, to 30th September, 1915 (or to latest date easily ascertainable); whether the actual duty of storing and delivering such part of the Army meat as is imported from Australia and New Zealand is now performed by the Board of Trade; whether this has made any difference in the remuneration of Messrs. Perfect and Company; and whether he will state if the above sum of money includes the sums paid to Messrs. New, Rawson, and other meat experts called in at times to assist the operations of Messrs. Perfect and Company?


The total to 30th September, 1915, is £20,966. The fact that the Army obtains the bulk of its meat through the Board of Trade has not affected the remuneration of Messrs. Perfect, who act as expert advisers and inspectors to the Board of Trade as well as to the War Office, but are only paid by the latter. The sum includes payments to persons employed by Messrs. Perfect.

68. Mr. THORNE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, during the months of July, August, and September, a quantity of bacon was tendered to the Army and rejected as unfit for use; whether a great deal of this was sold to a contractor, named Webb, who was afterwards prosecuted and heavily fined for tendering the same on a local government contract; whether the medical officer to the City of London took a further quantity, also returned from the Army, and had the same condemned before a magistrate at the Guildhall; whether Messrs. Knowles and Wells are responsible for the inspection of bacon as well as meat; how did it come to be tendered to the Army at all; what firm supplied it; and what was the total amount returned?


I am having inquiry made into the case referred to, and will let the hon. Member know the result. Messrs. Knowles and Wells have nothing to do with the inspection of bacon.

69. Mr. THORNE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a contractor named Jones was fined at Warminster Police Court, on Saturday last, for supplying 60 lbs. of putrid sausages to a military camp in that district; that at the trial it was shown that no discovery was made of the state of these goods until they were actually in process of cooking; that in this case there is the same breakdown of the existing arrangements for military meat inspection as was evidenced in the case of Lyons and Company's meat at the White City; and that neither Messrs. Knowles nor Wells, nor the officers at the camps in question, discovered the state of the goods when delivered at night or served out for food the next morning; and whether he will now consider the advisability of organising the inspection of Army food supplies on a scientific basis, placing at its head some responsible medical officer of health, or otherwise well-qualified person, with instructions to secure the complete co-operation of imperial and local authorities in the supervision of all places preparing Army food and all contractors supplying the same?


The inspection of the sausages referred to was purely a regimental matter in which Messrs. Knowles and Wells were in no way concerned. It is not proposed to make any alteration in the present system of food inspection.


Is it true that this particular gentleman was fined for supplying rotten sausages?