HC Deb 17 December 1935 vol 307 cc1580-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give the respective total money values of beef, mutton, lamb, pork, bacon and ham, butter, cheese, milk, and margarine supplied to the Army by the United Kingdom, excluding the Irish Free State, by the British Colonies, and by foreign countries, respectively, for the years 1932, 1933 and 1934?


Apart from small purchases for hospitals and detention barracks the only item mentioned in the question which is purchased directly by the War Department for issue at home, is meat. With the exception of preserved meat, this is entirely frozen meat of Dominion origin and consists mainly of beef and to a small extent of mutton. The estimated values of the frozen meat purchased for the Army and Royal Air Force at home in the three years were:

1932–3 391,000
1933–4 418,000
1934–5 401,000

In addition, foreign preserved meat is issued, in lieu of ordinary meat, for the purpose of maintaining the Army and Royal Air Force reserves at home and abroad, the cost of Dominion supplies being prohibitive. The values, excluding duty, purchased in the three years were:

1932–3 20,000
1933–4 21,000
1934–5 17,000

Bacon (including ham), cheese, milk and margarine are not issued in kind to the troops at home, but are purchased by units out of a cash allowance. Details of their value and origin are not, therefore, available, except in the case of bacon, the supply of which is supervised by the War Office. The values of the bacon purchased by Army and Royal Air Force units at home in the three years were:

1932–3 83,000
1933–4 100,000
1934–5 103,000
Of these, rather less than half the bacon purchases in 1932–3 was of foreign origin; the remainder was practically all of Dominion origin. Units do not purchase butter, on account of its high cost as compared with margarine. At stations overseas, meat, bacon, cheese, condensed milk, and margarine are generally supplied by the War Department in kind, but purchases are in many cases arranged locally and comprehensive figures are not available. Most of the meat is frozen meat of Dominion origin.

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