HC Deb 01 August 1944 vol 402 cc1156-7
59. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War what price the troops have to pay for beer in the British Liberation Army.

Sir J. Grigg

One shilling and fivepence per reputed quart.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a reputed quart is a measure which is actually a pint and a quarter, and under those circumstances—may I ask him to take this matter seriously—will he have the price of beer reduced to the soldiers serving with the British Liberation Army, in the same way as spirits are reduced in price to officers' messes and sergeants' messes?

Sir J. Grigg

I am sorry to correct the hon. Member; a reputed quart is, I understand, an Imperial pint and one-fifth. One explanation for the disparity is that the beer sent to France is stronger and better in quality than that supplied in this country. Other reasons are that extra costs are thrown on N.A.A.F.I. for transporting the beer and not getting the empties back.

Mr. Bellenger

Would the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter still further, because there is considerable dissatisfaction amongst the men in France that they have to pay 1s. 5d. for a pint and one-fifth of beer, whatever its strength?

Mr. Turton

Would my right hon. Friend put a specimen of the beer in the Library?

Sir J. Grigg

I should get into trouble with the Revenue authorities for selling beer—[Interruption]—for disposing of beer which was above the standard strength.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Does the right hon. Gentleman wish the House to accept the principle that where men are serving long distances away in other theatres such as the Middle East and Japan N.A.A.F.I. charge transport costs on all commodities because of distance and ask the men, or order the men, to pay the cost of transport?

Sir J. Grigg

I certainly think that the principle applies that the object of N.A.A.F.I. is not to make a loss.

Mr. Walkden

It will be making millions of pounds profit this year.