HC Deb 12 December 1922 vol 159 cc2561-2

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether his attention has been called to an advertisement inviting tenders for the supply of frozen meat to Chichester Barracks; and whether this policy of excluding home produce is in future to be applied to other commodities such as rifles, equipment, and clothing required for the Army?

Lieut.-Colonel JACKSON

At Chichester, as at all stations in Great Britain, frozen meat is supplied to the troops on grounds of economy. There is no intention of adopting a similar course in the case of the other supplies mentioned.


Having regard to the serious condition of British agriculture, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman get into touch with the Minister of Agriculture and see whether he cannot arrange for British meat to be supplied to British soldiers in this country?


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the price paid to the British producer is considerably below the price at which foreign meat can be bought, and will he, therefore, consider buying direct from the British producer?


Is it not an injustice to the British soldier that he should be deprived of the right of having British meat?

Lieut.-Colonel JACKSON

I will certainly get into touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture on the supplementary question put by my hon. Friend. The policy of the War Office, undoubtedly, is to give preference, wherever they possibly can, to homegrown produce, but cost has to be taken into account. I am informed that to supply the Army with home-grown meat to the exclusion of chilled beef would double the cost, and I am afraid that is what we cannot face.