HC Deb 26 February 1912 vol 34 cc1145-6W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the complaint by men on the lower deck that the contractors selected by the Admiralty to sell at a fixed quality of certain articles at naval canteens at fixed prices do not strictly adhere to the terms of their contracts; whether he is aware that the articles sold are often of an inferior brand from those shown on the standard price list; whether he is aware that this gives the contractors inflated profits at the expense of the men; and whether he will see that a stop is at once put to such practices?


Cases have recently been brought to the notice of the Admiralty where brands other than those specified in the standard price list have been offered for sale in canteens. Orders were given on 1st December last which should put a stop to this practice. Under those instructions the approval of the Admiralty, or of the commanding officer in certain cases, is necessary for the substitution of any other brand, and for alteration of price. The examination of canteen goods is one of the functions of the administrative committee on board ship; the King's Regulations provide for the investigation of any complaints from individuals as regards price and quality; also samples of goods are called for by the Admiralty at intervals, so that the goods supplied may be subjected to expert test. If the Noble Lord will bring to my notice any specific cases of the supply of inferior goods, I shall be pleased to have them investigated.