HC Deb 15 July 1941 vol 373 cc480-1W
Mr. Groves

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will consider the appointment of a medical officer to supervise food supplied to the Royal Air Force, in order to ensure that the greatest nutritional value is obtained; and whether he will appoint a committee of medical men to discover the existence and extent of any deficiency in vitamins, minerals, salts, proteins, etc., and decide what may be necessary to provide a balanced ration?

Sir A. Sinclair

The adequacy, from the point of view of nutrition, of the rations supplied to the R.A.F. has been investigated by experts of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Food and of my Department, together with eminent authorities on feeding and nutrition, and I am advised that the present rations are sufficient to provide an ample and well-balanced diet. A specialist medical officer and a highly skilled biochemist have recently been appointed to the R.A.F. to study first-hand and advise on the nutritional problems so as to ensure that the greatest nutritional value is obtained from the dietary at all times. These officers are working in close liaison with the nutritional experts of the Medical Research Council and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and with the officers responsible for catering at R.A.F. units, as well as with those instructing at R.A.F. Schools of Cookery. The hon. Member may be assured that no improvement in the feeding of the R.A.F. which experiment or research in the field of nutrition shows to be possible is likely to be overlooked. In these circumstances, while appreciating the hon. Member's suggestion, I do not think that the appointment of a committee would serve any useful purpose.