HC Deb 14 March 1916 vol 80 cc1915-6W

asked the Minister of Munitions if he will state the number of canteens now provided and used in connection with the manufacture of munitions under the control of his Department, and the number of persons for whom accommodation is now provided in such canteens; where it is shown that canteens are desirable in connection with controlled establishments is the capital amount required for their construction provided from Government funds; and will he state what authority is responsible for the maintenance and management of the canteens and for the prices charged?


At most the larger, and at many of the smaller establishments engaged in the production of munitions of war under the control of the Ministry of Munitions, facilities for partaking of food exist, ranging from mere mess rooms to large, well-equipped restaurants. It would not he practicable, without laborious inquiries, to furnish statistics indicating accurately the extent of the provision made at the establishments referred to by my hon. Friend, which number upwards of 3,000.

As an inducement to owners of controlled establishments to provide canteens for their workers, a concession has been made that capital expenditure incurred by the owner in making such provision may be written off against current profits in arriving at the profits of such establishments for the purposes of Part II. of the Munitions of War Act, 1915. The expenditure must be incurred with the approval of, and must be approved by, the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic). Advantage has been taken of the concession largely, and a considerable number of canteens are in process of construction or under consideration. The general responsibility for the organisation of canteens for munition workers in the Royal Arsenals and national munition factories is also entrusted to the Control Board. The Board do not undertake the management of canteens in controlled establishments. This is left to the owners who not infrequently entrust it to committees on which the workers are represented.