HC Deb 29 June 1944 vol 401 cc783-4
29. Mr. Astor

asked the Secretary of State for India what machinery is used by the Indian Canteen Board in making purchases outside India.

Mr. Amery

For food items demands on the United States of America are placed by the Indian Canteen Stores Department on their own buying agency in Washington which is linked to the Indian Supply Mission. Demands elsewhere are placed on my office in which a buying agency is located. For non-food items the arrangements are similar except that demands on my Office are made only for goods manufactured in the United Kingdom. Other demands are obtained direct, normally through the trade commissioners in India of the supplying countries concerned.

Mr. Astor

Is it not a fact that this organisation duplicates and competes against the N.A.A.F.I. purchasing organisation, and would it not be more efficient and economical to amalgamate the two?

Mr. Amery

No, Sir, I do not think so.

30. Mr. Astor

asked the Secretary of State for India what are the comparable prices of specimen items of beer, tobacco and spirits, sold in Indian canteens and in American canteens in India, respectively.

Mr. Amery

I understand that American canteens are dry in regard to spirits, but American and British messes are supplied with whisky and gin by the Indian Canteen Stores Department at the same price. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the prices of beer and tobacco in British canteens in India. I am asking the Government of India to supply the corresponding prices in American canteens and will communicate with my hon. Friend when I have received them.

Following is the information: