HC Deb 06 February 1940 vol 357 cc6-8
12. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the close co-operation between the Franco-British armies, he will arrange for Army cooks to have a course of instruction under French chefs at some special Army school for cookery?

Sir V. Warrender

Adequate instruction at the cookery schools and training centres is already being provided by professional and trained cooks, many of whom have had experience in French establishments.

Sir J. Lucas

Is it not a fact that many of the small units have cooks who are not trained at all?

Sir V. Warrender

There is a shortage of trained cooks, but they are being trained as fast as we can do it.

Mr. Hannah

Are French cooks any better than ours?

13. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for War how many cooks of the Auxiliary Territorial Service have been to the Aldershot cookery school and what percentage of the whole the number represents; and whether, in order to make it possible for more women to obtain proficiency pay for cooking, he will consider efficiency training in other parts of the country?

Sir V. Warrender

Four hundred, that is about 10 per cent., of the cooks of the Auxiliary Territorial Service have been trained at the Army School of Cookery at Aldershot. Further training facilities will be made available as soon as possible.

Miss Ward

Am I right in assuming that cooks who have not been to the Aldershot Training School up to the moment are paid 2d. a day extra?

Sir V. Warrender

They get 2d. additional pay if not qualified, so long as they are employed on cooking.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not possible to obtain a number of women through the Employment Exchanges for this kind of cooking? I am sure that they would be able to do the cooking quite as efficiently.

Sir V. Warrender

This is a question of training personnel already enrolled.

17. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied with the standard of Army cooking, and that reports about Army feeding show that good food is properly cooked; and whether an improvement in this respect can be secured in order to improve the health and fitness of the forces?

Sir V. Warrender

The reports of inspecting officers show that, on the whole, food is properly cooked. A continuous increase of training facilities is being provided.