§ 19. Lieutenant-Colonel WEIGALL
asked whether the Central Regimental Institutes funds have been used by the Navy and Army Canteen Board as part of the trading capital of the board; whether the board was financed by a loan of two millions sterling guaranteed by the Treasury; whether the profits accruing have been obtained from the expenditure of the 5½d. messing grant or the spending of the soldiers' private money; and what justification is there for utilising any of these profits in financial arrangements to meet changes of personnel?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The balance of the Central Regimental Institutes Fund, after payment of the grants made from it by the Army Council, is used by the Navy and Army Canteen Board as part of its trading capital, and interest has been credited thereon. The board have been financed by Treasury guarantee to a maximum amount of £3,000,000. The present debt is £1,600,000, which it is expected will be fully liquidated by the 206 end of June. The profits of the organisation have been derived from both sources mentioned. The cost of the personnel is a part of the working expenses of the board, and as such is payable out of its revenue.
Will the Secretary for War be willing to receive a small deputation of officers who are interested in this matter?
§ 20. Lieutenant - Colonel WEIGALL
asked whether any decision has yet been arrived at as to the ultimate disposal of central regimental funds?
§ Major Earl WINTERTON
Have any efforts been made to ascertain the wishes of officers and other ranks in this matter? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that considerable dissatisfaction exists in regard to the somewhat arbitrary action of the Army Council in deciding to practically seize regimental funds?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Successful attempts have been made to ascertain the views of regimental officers and other ranks. I have no information in my possession which bears out the latter part of my Noble Friend's suggestion.
Sir F. HALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman recognise the fact that these funds have been contributed not only by regimental officers but to a greater extent by the men, and that they should be taken into consideration?