HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 c566
64. Miss Rathbone

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade as representing the Ministry of Food, whether he is aware that those in charge of canteens, hostels and other provision for mercantile marine seamen complain that it is impossible to feed the men adequately on ordinary civilian meat and other rations; and whether he will consider the provision of extra rations comparable to those granted to men of the Armed Forces when on leave either to the men while at home or to the canteens, etc., catering for them?

Major Lloyd George

Seamen of the Mercantile Marine are allowed when at sea the full rations prescribed under the Merchant Shipping Act which are on a very adequate scale. There are serious administrative difficulties in making special rations available to merchant seamen during the short time they are ashore, and my Noble Friend regrets that he does not consider it practicable to depart from the present arrangements.

Miss Rathbone

Will not my hon. and gallant Friend consider whether he cannot at least allow additional rations to the men when they get to hostels and canteens?

Major Lloyd George

This, of course, involves the question of supply, and in extending such a concession to one section of the community other sections engaged on heavy work must also be considered.