HC Deb 14 May 1948 vol 450 cc255-6W
Mr. Willis

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what are the various forms of messing on the lower deck; what zonal victualling, or messing allowances are payable; what rations are issued in respect of each category; and the comparable payments and issues in 1938.

Mr. W. Edwards

The main systems of victualling in the Navy today can briefly be described as follows:

  1. (a) General Messing. Under this system supplies are obtained collectively for all ratings of the ship or establishment and the preparation, cooking and serving of the food is performed by one central specialised organisation under the immediate direction of the Supply Officer. The con- 256 sumption of food is regulated by daily money allowances per man. In some cases this form of messing is "centralised," i.e. served from a serving counter as in cafeterias.
  2. (b) Victualling Allowance. Under this system the ratings are divided into messes varying generally between 12 and 20 men; the messes are credited with a money allowance in respect of each person victualled and food is purchased according to the mess requirements either from service sources through the Supply Officer or from the Canteen. Each mess arranges its own menus, prepares the ingredients and takes the food to the galley to be cooked. This system is generally in force in small ships in which suitable facilities and staff for the central preparation and serving of food cannot be provided.

There are no fixed rations of any items of foodstuffs under the various naval systems of victualling, but consumption of nationally rationed items of foodstuffs is limited by "ceiling figures" which represent the maximum quantities which may be used per man per week. I am sending my hon. Friend details of the ceiling figures at present in force (as from 15th May in the case of shore establishments at Home), and of the monetary allowances at present applicable to ships and establishments in the various zones together with corresponding rates for 1938 where appropriate.