§ 47. Mr. Ronald Chamberlain
asked the Minister of Defence what was the dollar expenditure on food and oil on behalf of the Defence Services for the first half 397 of 1949; and what is the estimated expenditure on these items for the second half of the year.
§ Mr. Alexander
Part of the food for the Defence Services is supplied direct to the Forces overseas and part is included in the United Kingdom import programme. Dollar expenditure on the former category accounted for approximately half the sums quoted in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Swingler) on 26th October. The records of the dollar cost of the United Kingdom import programme do not distinguish that part representing food to be consumed by the Forces but my hon. Friend will realise that the total dollar expenditure on food for the United Kingdom is not affected by whether or not a proportion of those fed are in uniform.
Oil is obtained from both dollar and sterling sources, and sterling companies incur dollar expenditure. For these reasons it is difficult to allocate dollar expenditure accurately between civil and military users. However, provisionally £2 million could be taken as the Services' share of direct dollar expenditure on oil in the first half of 1949. The Services' share in the second half of 1949 is estimated provisionally at slightly less than £2 million. These figures have not been adjusted to take account of the dollar production costs by sterling companies.