HC Deb 28 February 1918 vol 103 cc1566-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether all units on subsistence allowance in the Home Army are now to be rationed in kind; if so, whether he is aware that this involves hardship, rendering it necessary for men who might other wise get breakfast at home to travel by workmen's trains and forego their breakfast; and whether he will follow the precedent of the Colonial troops and in such cases allow those men to travel for half fares on the railways, thus enabling them to take later trains?


All troops that can be rationed in kind are normally so rationed. I am afraid I do not understand the latter part of the question, but I am making some inquiries as to the precedent to which the hon. Member refers.


asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether arrangements will be made whereby officers and men returning to this country on leave can be supplied with emergency meat and sugar cards when they leave their units so as to avoid all delay and inconvenience to them while they are on leave?


Arrangements have been made for the issue of special tickets to officers and men returning to this country from France to enable them to obtain meat meals during the journey on their way home and on return. These tickets, like the sugar cards, will be issued in France. Meat tickets for use at home must, under the arrangements made by the Food Controller, be obtained from local Food Control Committees, who will issue them on production of the meat meal tickets mentioned above or of the furlough pass or other certificate authorising the journey. These arrangements were devised by the Food Controller, and I will discuss with him the possibility of issuing in France the meat tickets for use at home like the sugar cards.

108. Mr. JOWETT

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that at the Bradford depôt where soldiers draw their rations there is a queue waiting to be served on certain days of the week; if he is aware that in many cases soldiers residing in Leeds, Huddersfield, and the districts around Bradford call at the Bradford depôt for their rations; and whether, having regard to the fact that it is becoming more difficult for soldiers on leave to avoid the queue at the Bradford depôt of the Northern area as the rationing system extends, on account of ordinary shops confining their sales in rationed articles of food to their regular customers, he will arrange for the establishment of a number of food depôts for soldiers on leave in each town, to prevent the necessity of soldiers standing in queues for their rations?


Soldiers on leave are not issued with rations, but are given a money allowance in lieu thereof; the soldier is at liberty to spend this where he chooses. Although, strictly speaking, it is no part of the Navy and Army Canteen Board's business to supply groceries to soldiers on leave, arrangements were made, for the troops' convenience, to allow them to purchase through the Board. At the inception of the scheme queues were formed, owing to the fact that the Navy and Army Canteen Board had only one place of business in Bradford. To further meet the convenience of soldiers on leave additional premises were taken; I am advised that the arrangements are now working smoothly, and are a great benefit to the troops. Moreover, the local officer commanding troops, in his report on the matter, states that great credit is due to the Navy and Army Canteen Board for their foresight and the trouble they have taken. The suggestion in the latter part of the question is not considered practicable.