HC Deb 21 May 1946 vol 423 c185
10. Major Symonds

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the continued shortage of N.A.A.F.I. supplies in Batavia; that airmen are, in consequence, obliged to pay extortionate prices in civilian shops for ordinary toilet necessities; and if he will take steps to ensure that N..A.A.F.I. service in Java reaches a standard at least as satisfactory as that attained by the Indian Canteen Services throughout the Burma Campaign, in far less favourable conditions.

Mr. Lawson

With the exception of boot polish, no shortages of supplies in Batavia have been reported by N.A.A.F.I. and this is confirmed by the report of the late Air Force Member of the Board who visited Java in April. Despite the difficult conditions in Batavia, N.A.A.F.I have opened a retail store and full club facilities in addition to the normal supply of goods to units.

Major Symonds

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the supplies of boot polish he mentioned are four tins per 100 men, which is quite inadequate, and as soap is issued on the basis of only 12 bars per 100 men, men have to go out and buy tablets of soap in Batavia at 45. a tablet?

Mr. Lawson

I am sorry to hear that statement, particularly in, relation to the Far East, because we know how necessary soap is, particularly in that part of the world. I have no definite information of any shortage, but if my hon. and gallant Friend will give me specific instances, I will have them investigated.