HC Deb 18 May 1943 vol 389 cc949-50W
Mr. Butcher

asked the Secretary of State for War why the Fighting Forces Canteen, Boston, Lincolnshire, run by local ladies and gentlemen is reduced from Grade A to B, whilst the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes' canteen, although more recently established, is permitted the privileges attaching to an A canteen; what representations have been received from officers commanding units and from other persons interested in the welfare of the troops; and whether he is prepared to reexamine the position with a view to restoring to this canteen the facilities they previously enjoyed?

Sir J. Grigg

N.A.A.F.I. canteens are established where the military authorities consider that they are necessary for the welfare of the troops. They are all at present expected to provide cooked meals and are therefore not graded into those which are and those which are not allowed to supply cooked meals. The services of other canteens are always much appreciated by the troops and they would not be interfered with but for the need to cut down all unnecessary consumption of food. At the present time such canteens can only be allowed the food to provide cooked meals if N.A.A.F.I. canteens are unable to cater for the troops in the area. The decision to grade this canteen B was reviewed in October as a result of representations by the local R.A.F. commander and again since as a result of representations from the town clerk of Boston and from my hon. Friend. I regret however that the need of the troops does not justify a departure from the present strict rule.