HC Deb 22 April 1941 vol 371 cc15-6
29. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied with the existing discrimination shown between the amounts of rations issued to the troops and those allowed to civilian workers, which, in the case of meat, shows a ratio of four to one; and whether he will consider issuing less rations for the Forces, which are often wasted, but with better cooking in Army units, which would ensure palatable meals, as the best method of dealing with this problem?

Captain Margesson

As my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, several reductions have already been made in the soldier's ration, and it is not the case that the present meat ration is four times as great as the corresponding civilian ration. Moreover, since the middle of last month, military personnel in the United Kingdom who are living in lodgings or their own homes under conditions similar to those of civilian workers, have had their entitlement to purchase rationed foodstuffs reduced to the civilian scale. The possibility of further reductions will be kept under review, but my hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that, in the interests of military efficiency, soldiers are required in general to reach a higher standard of physical fitness than civilians. As regards the second part of the Question, it frequently happens that, where large numbers of troops are messed together, the full rations are not drawn. The cases in which food is wasted as a result of bad cooking are now comparatively few, and I anticipate further improvement in this direction.

Sir T. Moore

Would my right hon. and gallant Friend consider employing women to a greater extent in mobile units?

Captain Margesson

I will consider my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion.

Forward to