HC Deb 14 March 1961 vol 636 cc1243-58

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £14,505,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the expense of victualling and clothing for the Navy, including the cost of victualling establishments at home and abroad, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962.

5.54 p.m.

Commander J. S. Kerans (The Hartlepools)

I want to raise in general terms the question of victualling and clothing depots for the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. Is there any possibility of a reduction or amalgamation in the not far distant future? These depots, broadly speaking, occupy fairly large areas close to our home ports. Has the Admiralty ever given thought to the possibility of amalgamating, to a limited extent, the victualling and clothing supplies for all three Services, certainly the food supply? Food and victualling at least might be common to all three Services.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

I should like an explanation of the paragraph in Vote 2, which reads: Men entitled to the spirit ration receive an allowance in lieu (grog money) if they do not wish to receive the ration in kind. How many men do not accept the spirit ration, and how much money does that involve? To what extent do sailors in the Royal Navy decline to have grog money and get the ration in kind?

Brigadier Clarke

I hope that I shall be in order in talking about the wages of industrials, which are referred to Vote 2. I have tried to make many small speeches to this Committee, but so far I have never been called. But before I waste your time, Mr. Russell, by being out of order, may I ask you whether I would be in order in talking about the wages of industrial workers? I notice that these wages are also referred to in Vote 8. Perhaps if I talk about them on this Vote you may tell me that I must wait until we reach Vote 8, and then I may find that Vote 8 is not being discussed. That is one way of getting round the discussion.

The Temporary Chairman

The hon. and gallant Gentleman is in order in discussing this matter on Vote 2.

Brigadier Clarke

I have been in constant correspondence with my hon. Friend the Civil Lord about the wages and the structure of wages in Portsmouth Dockyard. I visited him with a small delegation of Portsmouth Members of Parliament, and he was most helpful. He carried out a survey of wages and earnings and I think that, as a result, we can claim that there has been a reasonable increase in the emoluments of these workers. Nevertheless, I still think that £8 15s. 4d. a week for the lowest paid worker is very poor. It does not compare with the wage of an agricultural worker, living in the country, where things are a great deal cheaper than they are in a city like Portsmouth.

Sir H. Legge-Bourkeindicated dissent.

Brigadier Clarke

I see that my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) shakes his head. He was in the Chair and stopped me from speaking last week on the Navy Estimates.

The wages of these workers are extremely low, and I hope that something can be done to see that they get adequate overtime to compensate them. The national average wage is over £13 a week and £8 15s. 4d. a week seems a very small amount for a man and wife living in a town.

Not only does such a wage affect the man himself, but it affects the whole city, because the majority of those working in the dockyard get this low wage. In my hon. Friend's survey he found that quite a number of them also got very much more than I understood them to get, and I was glad to hear that. Nevertheless, £8 15s. 4d. is only about twice as much as an old-age pensioner gets. When one is in one's prime, one is entitled to expect a better wage than that.

The Admiralty gets a lot of its labour very cheaply, as these people are employed as unskilled labourers, whereas some of them often do skilled and semiskilled work. During the past ten years I have clone my best to get new industries into the town so that dockyard wages would have to go up in competition with civilian industry. There have been considerable efforts to see that these industries did not come in, but they are now coming in in fairly large numbers, and I think that the Admiralty will find itself in competition with them. I hope that as a result the wages paid in the dockyard will have to go up.

There is also the question of storehouse men, which I have raised with my hon. Friend the Civil Lord on many occasions. A storehouse man is classified as an industrial by the Admiralty, whereas in the other two Services he is classified as a non-industrial. In the Army I had a lot of storehouse men under my charge at one time or another, and they were all non-industrial.

If these people can be classified as non-industrial it raises their status all round, together with many benefits to which they are entitled, and it also raises the tone of their livelihood. These men and their union are very anxious that they should be classified as non-industrial. It is extraordinary that the Admiralty manages to persist in the view that these people are industrial when the other Services have long ago considered them as non-industrial.

I am very grateful to you, Mr. Russell, for having heard that much. I am sure that if you had not had much compassion for me you would have said that many of the things I have said were out of order. I felt that most of them were, but I am grateful to you for having permitted me to say them.

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Wigg

I am shocked by the way the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke) has referred to his constituents as "these people". The people of Portsmouth are an honourable people and, although the hon. and gallant Member may think of his constituents that way between elections, he ought not to speak of them in the House of Commons in that slighting manner.

Brigadier Clarke

On a point of order. How does this come into Vote 2?

Mr. Wigg

I am replying to the hon. and gallant Member as I am deeply moved, and have always been deeply moved, by the standard of living of people who live in garrison towns. It is no accident that most of these areas are represented by Conservative Members of Parliament. This is a matter of cause and effect. The low rates of wages in Portsmouth, Devonport, Chatham and elsewhere arise from two direct causes. One is that those places have Conservative Members of Parliament and the second is that their major industries are based on the Admiralty which has a notoriously reactionary attitude. I am sure that the expression "these people" used by the hon. and gallant Member is one which he has heard from his hon. Friend on the Front Bench. I protest against the slighting way in which the hon. and gallant Member spoke of his constituents, but I join with him not only in pleading with the Government, but in taking action to get a major diversification of industry in and around Portsmouth.

Brigadier Clarke

Is the hon. Member trying to say that my constituents who are very badly paid should not be better paid?

Mr. Wigg

On the contrary. I was saying that they should be much better paid and that the reason why they are not better paid is that the hon. and gallant Member has been their Member for so long.

The hon. and gallant Member comes to the House once a year—perhaps twice a year—and makes a speech pleading for "these people". What is needed in Portsmouth and Chatham and all the other garrison towns, especially in view of the Government's defence policy, is a fighting policy and not an appearance in the House of Commons two or three times a year. The hon. and gallant Member should press the Government in season and out of season, because if a major disarmament policy is adopted by the Government or forced on them by world events, this will become a national problem and Portsmouth may well rot.

I offer my services to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. I started my soldiering in Portsmouth and I have a great affection for the place. I was there long before the hon. and gallant Gentleman went to Portsmouth, although I was in a very humble capacity. I want him to press the Government not two or three times a year but every day, and I want him to be constantly in his place where I will join with him in seeing that the Government face their obligation.

Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)

The hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) said that the low wage rates paid in garrison towns were due to inaction on the part of Conservative Members, but how does he explain the fact that his hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot), having been narrowly rejected by the electorate at Devonport in 1955, was overwhelmingly rejected by that electorate in 1959?

Mr. Wigg

There is a perfectly simple answer.

The Temporary Chairman

I do not see where that arises on this Vote.

Mr. Wigg

If I give way to an hon. Member and he puts a question which is in order, surely I am in order to reply.

The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Member was out of order in asking the question.

Mr. Wigg

But I should have thought that it was possible within the rules of order, the question having been asked, for me to be given an opportunity to reply.

The Temporary Chairman


Mr. Wigg

Needless to say, as always, I bow to the Ruling of the Chair. My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot) is quite capable of looking after himself and, as Ebbw Vale has done him the honour of returning him, I hope that he will raise his voice on behalf of his constituents of yesterday, because it is quite obvious that hon. Members opposite will do nothing more than provide political excuses.

What I am saying to the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth, West is that this is not a matter which can be lightly dismissed and that if there is a sharp curtailment of the Defence Estimates in the coming years, this will become a major problem. If we wait until the problem is with us, by that action alone we shall guarantee that there will be no solution of it. This should be the subject of a major pronouncement of policy by the Government. Clearly, the Navy has no future for these towns.

I conclude by repeating my pledge to act in association with the hon. and gallant Member, as an act of justice to the citizens of those places which have rendered great service to the country in times of great difficulty and which should not be left to rot merely because it is expedient and politically convenient for the Government to allow them to do so.

6.8 p.m.

Lieut.-Commander S. L. C. Maydon (Wells)

The matter which I wish to raise arises under subheads K and L and relates to mess traps and miscellaneous stores.

It is the present practice in the Royal Navy where members of the Women's Royal Naval Service are employed alongside men for the two sexes to mess separately. That sort of practice is somewhat out of date and somewhat nineteenth century. On Monday, in the Shipping Supplement of The Times, there were photographs of men and women employed in the Merchant Navy being messed together in ships afloat. If that can be done in the Merchant Navy and in industry ashore, it is high time that the Royal Navy followed suit when the two sexes are working side by side. I hope that the Civil Lord will urge the Board of Admiralty to do something in that direction and to do it quickly.

6.9 p.m.

Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

I wish to raise a matter which is causing the trade union movement increasing concern. For many years a joint industrial council has functioned in the employment of civilian personnel employed by the Navy—as with other Government Departments—and for many years a number of highly skilled craft unions——

The Temporary Chairman

Can the hon. Member say where this arises under this Vote?

Mr. Ellis Smith

It comes under miscellaneous——

The Temporary Chairman

I would draw attention to the fact that we are on Vote 2.

Mr. Wigg

Surely this arises on Vote 2B, of which the Explanatory Note says: The rates of wages of locally entered personnel abroad are assessed in relation to local standards. Those standards may have to be resolved by trade union negotiation, so that I would have thought that my hon. Friend was in order.

Mr. Ellis Smith

I thought that was understood.

The Civil Lord is aware that there are a number of craft unions with no representation at all on these councils, and that for many years they have been pressing for representation. In addition to that, many years ago it was thought by the trade union movement that the time had arrived when the Admiralty should be setting a higher standard than is done in the ordinary shipyards. In places like Portsmouth, Devonport and several others, through the functioning of these joint councils, they have always followed the lead of private industry, but private industry is engaged in world competition and is subject to that kind of thing. The trade union movement believes that, while we cannot carry this too far, it should be the duty of Government Departments and, in the case of which I am speaking, of the Admiralty to set a higher standard than obtains in private industry.

One of the matters that has given great concern has been the inability of the Admiralty to encourage output and production. I am not saying for a moment that the output at Portsmouth, Devon-port, Chatham and other places is not as good as it should be. I know that the management and the men there give of their best, and I understand that at Portsmouth some of the changes that have been carried through have been carried out more cheaply than would have been the case in a number of shipbuilding yards. What I am saying is that the men do not get the encouragement to increase production that they ought to get.

The Civil Lord will be aware that we have in being what is known as the merit scheme. I have always been against merit schemes, as a result of my experience, because they lead to favouritism. This is not a satisfactory way of dealing with things. My own view is that the best policy is to put a man on his mettle, to do as is done in private industry and fix rates by mutual negotiation, and, having established confidence in this joint machinery which exists for the purpose of fixing rates or hours by mutual agreement, to leave it to the individual to increase his earnings in accordance with this arrangement.

I am making a plea, but I do not expect a satisfactory answer being given now because I have not given the Civil Lord notice. I have been asked by a number of unions to take the opportunity of a Vote like this to raise this issue. Therefore, let me make it clear to the Minister that I do not expect a satisfactory answer tonight, although I hope he will undertake to give consideration to the point I am raising and, having given the matter consideration, will come back to the House or the Committee with constructive proposals for dealing with it.

The Civil Lord will also know that the "Ark Royal", for example, has undergone many changes at Portsmouth. If I remember rightly, speaking from memory, it was built at Cammell Laird's at Birkenhead and afterwards went to Portsmouth, where a number of modifications were carried out. What I am asking for is that when these modifications are carried out, this joint council machinery should so function as to obtain the best results, and, at the same time, put the men on their mettle and increase their earnings. I am asking the Civil Lord to give consideration to this point and to consider whether the time has not arrived when the whole of the unions involved should have representation. If they cannot have representation on the councils, some other method should be introduced by which they can be given more satisfaction than they feel at the present time.

6.16 p.m.

Mr. Wingfield Digby

I am rather tempted to follow the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), but I am not quite sure for whom he is speaking or what researches he has made into the matter. I think that the general consultative machinery in the bulk of Admiralty establishments is very good, and certainly a long way ahead of that in comparative industry in a number of ways. As I understand this Vote, it would be strictly in order to discuss victualling yards, which are comparatively small, but not to discuss the machinery in the dockyards. Anyone who has seen these committees, and has addressed them, as I did during my time at the Admiralty, will know that they function extremely well.

My purpose in rising is to discuss Subhead M. It will be obvious to the Committee at once that there is a very steep rise here of £513,000 for clothing. I do not know what is the explanation for this very steep rise at a time when the numbers are falling, though I imagine It represents the new rig for seamen, and I hope that the Civil Lord will tell us something about it when he replies. In the Memorandum on the Army Estimates information was given of the new Service uniform, and there are two excellent pictures of a sergeant and a member of the W.R.A.C. in the new uniforms, which look extremely nice. I am sure that the Committee would agree that the uniform is an important matter, but this is a very steep rise, and I for one, and, I think, the Committee, also, would welcome some explanation of it.

Mr. Willis

Before the Civil Lord answers some of these questions, may I say that I had intended to ask him about clothing? I should also like to know why there is a very steep rise in the cost of mess traps, which is about a 40 per cent. increase.

I also want to suggest, in connection with some of these big rises, that maybe a note about them could be included in the Explanatory Notes to show why some of these changes take place. It is quite obvious when we look at some of these Votes, that the variations are great, particularly in the cases of clothing and mess traps, and I should have thought that it would have been very helpful to all hon. Members if space—and there is usually quite a lot of space at the bottom of these Explanatory notes—could be utilised for the purpose of telling the Committee about the big changes in the Votes.

6.19 p.m.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Perhaps I may now deal with the various points that have been made on Vote 2.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for The Hartlepools (Commander Kerans) asked me whether we ought not to close down some of our victualling depots and streamline the organisation. I can assure him that we have done that. During the last five years, we have cut the number of victualling depots from 21 to 14. The general policy is that there should be a large victualling depot providing storage behind our main ports, and that there should be a forward store for the immediate provision of ships when they visit those ports. That is our general policy. Under it we have, in fact, cut our storage space from 3 million sq. ft. to F4 million sq. ft. This is a sign of the earnestness with which we have pursued the idea of not having too long a tail and trying to put more in the way of teeth into the Navy.

My hon. and gallant Friend also asked me whether we were adopting a general policy of coordinating victualling between the three Services. This was a point made by the Select Committee on Estimates in 1956, which did not advocate integration, but did say that the three Services ought to be more closely drawn together and that the biggest user should have the responsibility for victualling in various parts of the world. We have done exactly that. As a result of that Select Committee's Report, a good deal has been achieved. In the United Kingdom, we have made a considerable saving in transport, and in the closing of a number of supply depots, by making arrangements for units of all the Services to be supplied from the nearest Army or Navy bulk stocks. Abroad, the major user in Gibraltar is the Royal Navy, as is the War Office in Hong Kong, in Aden it is the Royal Air Force and in Malta the Royal Navy, and these now hold stocks and supply all three Services.

We are pursuing this general philosophy, and we hope there is scope for further rationalisation. We have an inter-service committee working on this aspect of the matter, and we shall keep it under the most active review.

The hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) asked about grog money. The latest figures show that 25 per cent. of naval ratings prefer to take their 3d. a day rather than the grog.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke) succeeded in keeping in order rather better than I would be able to do if I tried to answer his points. I would not go all the way with the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg). I have not found that "the people" is an insulting term. We have such phrases as "Trust the People" and "Set the People Free". I have never found that they have been resented.

Mr. Wigg

The expression to which I objected was not merely "the people", but "these people".

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I do not follow why the adjective "these" should be insulting when placed before "people". No doubt the hon. Member has his own views about that. He and the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) raised the question of rewards and negotiating machinery. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Portsmouth, West mentioned the figure of £8 15s. 4d. as the basic wage of an unskilled labourer. As I let him know in a letter, the average wage in the dockyards is nearly £14, and that throws a rather different light on the matter. I appreciate my hon. and gallant Friend's views about storehousemen. This is, again, a matter for joint machinery, and the trade unions take a strong view here.

Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)

Did the hon. Member say that the average wage in the dockyards was £14?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Yes. I am sorry if I said "wage"; I should have said "earnings". The average earnings of Admiralty employees is £14. I am grateful to the hon. Member for allowing me to correct what I said.

As I was saying, the question of store-housemen is one for trade union negotiation. As my hon. and gallant Friend will know, we have raised the rewards of these men, so that although they count as industrials their pay is very little different from that of non-industrials. If the main consideration is one of pay rather than status we have moved a long way in the right direction. This matter has been under negotiation by the joint machinery, and I cannot go much further tonight.

Brigadier Clarke

The question of the average wage is a little complicated. The lowest-paid people—I am sorry, perhaps in deference to the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) I should say "the lowest-paid workers"—receive about £8 15s., but the highly skilled workers at the top of the scale, who are very few in number, may have a high wage, and if they are included with the people earning low wages and the total of wages is divided by the total of workers, although it may work out to £14 a week it must be remembered that thousands of "people", as I prefer to call them, earn between £8 15s. and £9 a week. It is really not fair to quote the average in that way.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I agree that averages can be deceptive, but I broke down the figures concerned in a letter to my hon. and gallant Friend. I do not have the figures by me now, but he knows them as well as I do. I know that the average does not reflect the exact position, but it puts the matter into rather better perspective.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wells (Lt.-Commander Maydon) asked whether it was necessary to separate the feeding of the W.R.N.S. from that of the Navy. He said that this was not done in civil life or in the mercantile marine. My memory of the Air Force, when I served as Under-Secretary of State, was that it always found communal feeding from a single galley quite acceptable. I cannot believe that sailors are any less well behaved than men in the Royal Air Force, but I will consider the point raised, because we are anxious to cut down overheads and at the same time to meet the high standards of feeding for both men and women in the Royal Navy.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) asked about the increase in the Vote relative to mess traps. The reason for that is that we have been living on our fat for some time—if I may use that term in connection with mess traps—and have now run down our stocks to a level where we must start buying again. I went through this question in detail. I remember that glassware was one of the main factors involved. It is easily broken. We are always trying to find unbreakable glass, but have not yet found the perfect solution. Nevertheless, we are managing to obtain replacements for our glassware very cheaply.

The hon. Member also asked whether we could find a little more room for Explanatory Notes. That might be possible. I will consider it.

Mr. Willis

It is not so much for the notes themselves as for explanations in them of appreciable increases or decreases.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We have tried to help there. The hon. Member will notice that from time to time, on different pages, we have tried to explain large variations. We have also shown the main variations in the explanatory statement, in summarised form, although I agree that we might go a little further.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Wingfield Digby) asked about the increased Vote in respect of clothing. I agree that it is very marked, but it is not because of the new rig. About £260,000 of that increase is due to the run-down of our old stocks and the need to buy new stocks. Price increases account for £100,000 of that increase, and increases in repayment supplies account for £76,000. It must be remembered that we supply other Government Departments. For example, we supply Customs officials with raincoats. We receive credit for that in the Appropriations in Aid, but it would be out of order for me to discuss them.

I think that I have dealt with all the points raised in connection with Vote 2, and I hope that hon. Members will agree to it.

6.29 p.m.

Mr. Wigg

I cannot understand that reply, unless the Government's policy towards redundancy in establishments, brought about by the changing pattern of industry, is non-existent. The hon. Gentleman must be aware of the views expressed by his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke), that the changing pattern of Government defence expenditure, month by month and year by year, is bound to create great hardship in Sheppey and Chatham because of the closing of the dockyards. It has created hardships in Portsmouth, and Rosyth, and in ordnance depôts, and yet, when the point is put to the Government from hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, the Minister completely ignores it. He picks up the points which are convenient to him and then wants to call it a day.

I would have thought that this was a matter of importance which affected all the Services. We might have expected a statement about it from the Minister of Defence in the debate on the Defence Estimates, but we did not get it, and we do not get a real chance to put the point during our debates on the Service Estimates. This is our last chance this year to hear something about the Government's overall policy in the matter. Will the Board of Trade act as agents in trying to encourage new industries to go to Portsmouth? The Civil Lord has always been an exponent of laissez faire, so long as it runs his way. Portsmouth and Sheppey can go to the devil, just as the aircraft industry could also go to the devil when there were no more orders for it.

If this is the Government's policy the hon. Gentleman should say so, and not seek to evade the issue by silence. Anyone who represents an industrial constituency knows the vast importance of armaments orders. When it suited the Government of the day appeals were made to the patriotism of armament factories to give priority to Government orders. By and large both employers and employees in industry responded. Now the pattern has changed, and, like other problems with which the Government cannot deal, it is swept under the carpet. Before we leave the Vote we ought to hear more from the Government about what they propose to do.

Mr. Ellis Smith

I shall not reiterate what I said earlier because I am satisfied with having got what I said in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I want to pursue the matter in another way to try to get more satisfaction.

On page 25 of the Estimates it is stated that The procedure for fixing the rates of wages of industrial employees… is explained under Vote 8, Section 1… If one refers to Vote 8, Section 1, page 107, it says: The rates of wages payable to all civilian industrial employees in Admiralty Service… are determined by negotiation between the Official and Trade Union sides of the Shipbuilding Trades Joint Council… Will the Civil Lord give an undertaking that if be receives representations from the trades unions concerned he will consider them? Also, provided that they give an undertaking to state a reasoned case based on the observations that I have made, will he be prepared to receive them so that more satisfaction can be gained?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

I am sorry. I to have a little more information from the Government about their policy for industrial workers. After all, round our coasts there are large communities which in the past have been entirely dependent on the Navy. Portsmouth and Chatham have been referred to, and there is Rosyth, in Scotland. When the Government decide on a policy which is detrimental to these places, we are entitled to say that it is not good enough to shut down the shipyards and allow these communities to become derelict. We are entitled to know what is to happen in future.

There is a complete failure on the part of the Admiralty to look forward to the future of the industrial communities which have been created by the process of history. Not long ago the Prime Minister was asked whether, if there were disarmament, the Government had plans for absorbing the workers who would become redundant. The Prime Minister glibly answered that all that had been thought of, but as regards the Navy in this Vote we get——

The Deputy-Chairman (Major Sir William Anstruther-Gray)

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but I am not sure that this comes under Vote 2. I think that the question of dockyards and the personnel of dockyards comes under Vote 8.

Mr. Hughes

I am sorry. I understood that it came under the question of wages of industrial workers, on page 25 of the Estimates.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

I am Chairman of the Admiralty Industrial Council, and within my terms of reference I will consider any representations I receive, but the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) will understand that I have to work within those terms of reference. I will endeavour to answer the points he made in his speech by letter when I have given them proper consideration.

I hope that the words of the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) will not be read 'outside the Committee, or by those who sit for dockyard towns, as meaning that in any way these great dockyards are being run down. We are investing a great deal of money in them, and we would not be doing that if there were not an assured future for them. It would be out of order for me to go any further on that point.

When we closed Sheerness—and the hon. Member for Faversham (Mr. P. Wells) knows this—we made many special arrangements such as trying to find alternative employment in the Chatham Dockyard. When we have shut down industrial establishments like that, we have made special provisions to try to find alternative employment in nearby towns. It would be wrong for the Committee to give the impression to dockyard towns that those towns have not an assured future. In fact, Portsmouth is busier than ever. It will have the "Albion" conversion in hand, but if I said any more I would be out of order.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That a sum, not exceeding £14,505,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the expense of victualling and clothing for the Navy, including the cost of victualling establishments at home and abroad, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962.