HC Deb 15 October 1941 vol 374 cc1349-50
24. Sir A. Southby

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why members of the Women's Royal Naval Service receive a smaller allowance of both bacon and jam than that supplied to members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service and of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force?

The Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Sir Victor Warrender)

There is no desire that the W.R.N.S. should suffer in any way by the allowances of bacon and jam being fixed below those of any other Services, but it would be wasteful to fix the allowances to W.R.N.S.'s messes above those which have proved to be the average consumption. The authorised rates are, of course, always subject to review.

Sir A. Southby

Is my hon. Friend aware of the reply recently given in the House by the Secretary of State for War setting forth the allowances to members of the women's Services, from which it appears that a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service has a daily ration of four-sevenths of an ounce of bacon as against one-and-one-seventh to members of the other two Services, and an ounce of jam as against one-and-a-half-ounces for the other two Services? Is there any reason why women in the Senior Service should have less bacon and jam than those in the other Services?

Sir V. Warrender

As I have said, the amount issued equals the average consumption in the W.R.N.S. The House will realise that rations are drawn for messes as units, and it may be that if one member has a sweeter tooth than another, she will consume more jam in that mess than another. We do not want to issue more jam and bacon than are normally consumed, and we have had no complaints.

Sir A. Southby

Will my hon. Friend consider issuing to the W.R.N.S. the increased allowance, and see whether they eat it?

Viscountess Aston

Will my hon. Friend ask the Government what makes them think that women eat less than men? I eat far more than my husband.