HC Deb 26 February 1912 vol 34 cc1144-5W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the practice prevails in the Navy that before leaving English ports for Ireland His Majesty's ships are supplied with ten days' supply of beef and mutton; whether, when tenders are invited for the supply of meat for the Navy, it is expressly stated that no frozen meat will be received; and whether, seeing that fresh beef and mutton can be supplied in Irish ports, it will be arranged to have instructions given that henceforward the sailors arriving in Irish ports will receive fresh meat where practicable?


With reference to the first part of the question, the quantity of fresh meat drawn by a ship before leaving port is not regulated by the Admiralty, but is left to the discretion of the commanding officer. A reasonable supply to meet contingencies would naturally be taken on such occasions, and I am not aware of any distinction being made in this respect between Irish ports and others in the United Kingdom where the requisite supplies are obtainable. In reply to the second part of the question, it is true that in the case of tenders for fresh meat it is stipulated that no frozen meat shall be supplied, but there are contracts for frozen mutton at a few ports in the United Kingdom where the price of fresh mutton is excessive, as the men may prefer an occasional issue of frozen mutton to a continuous supply of fresh beef. With reference to the concluding portion of the question, fresh meat is issued whenever practicable at Irish ports as well as others, and Admiralty contracts for the supply of fresh meat are in existence at fifteen Irish ports. It does not appear that any fresh instructions are necessary.