HC Deb 13 February 1946 vol 419 cc94-5W
Sir T. Moore

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the disclosed shortage of food, he will issue instructions to the Service Departments to reduce the present Service rations to the scale to be approved for the civilian population of this country.

The Prime Minister

As announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War on 23rd October, 1945, in reply to the hon. and gallant Member, certain reductions have already been made both in the overseas" and home Services ration scale. The possibility of further reducing the ration scales, especially in the light of the world food situation, is continuously under review.

Captain Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Food if he will consult with the Service Ministers to see if Service rations can be reduced, in view of the general food shortage, without impairing the efficiency of the Forces.

Sir B. Smith

I would refer my hon. and gallant friend to the reply given by-the Prime Minister to the hon. and gallant. Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) today.

Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Food the difference in the food rations as between the civilian population and the fighting Services; and whether, in view of the present critical food situation and the fact that there is little fighting to do for the Armed Forces, he will consider equalising the rations for all British subjects so that those in the Services who are not fighting, are not better fed than miners and others engaged in heavy industries.

Sir B. Smith

The following is a comparative statement of rations for civilians and home Services:

This comparison does not give a complete picture. The Services have ration scales for foods like bread and potatoes which are not rationed for civilians. Further, civilians have greater opportunities to supplement their rations by meals in canteens and by various unrationed foods.

Home Services rations, exclusive of supplies from Naafi and other canteens, are equivalent to 3,200 to 3,300 calories per day. The average calorie supply of rationed and unrationed foods to all civilians is about 2,850 calories, but male heavy workers are estimated to consume about 3,700 calories according to small sample surveys of various industries. This higher than average consumption arises partly from special canteen facilities, but mainly from their larger consumption of bread and potatoes.

The question of changes in Service ration scales is at present under review.