§ Viscount SANDON
asked the First Lord to the Admiralty what would be the annual total excess and extra excess costs of supplying, to the extent to which expense is at present the only obstacle, all home naval and marine personnel for one, two, three, four, five and six days a week, with rations where available solely of fresh home produce, such as milk, cheese, butter, eggs, vegetables, etc., each of these items being given separately, in addition to the total, the question of meat being excluded as already dealt with?
§ Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM
With the exception of milk and vegetables, which are home produce, the articles referred to are not included in the service standard ration. The men purchase such quantities of these foodstuffs as they require, to supplement the standard ration, from canteens or other sources, out of their daily messing allowance. Where they are messed on the general mess system the accountant officer purchases supplies, either from the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes or local tradesmen. In the former case, the Admiralty have no particulars of the purchases; and in the latter case such particulars as are available are not sufficient to enable anything like a reliable estimate to be given. As regards naval hospitals, the position under current contracts in regard to the items specified is as follows: Milk (fresh and condensed) and eggs are all of home
— Officers. Men. Total. Retired Officers R.N. and R.M. (of all ages) 8,328 — 8,328 Special Reserve of Engineer Officers 129 — 129 Emergency Officers 249 — 249 Pensioners R.N. and R.M. (under 55 years of age) — 23,837 23,837 Royal Fleet Reserve— Class A. (Pensioners; — 7,234 7,234 Class B. (Non-Pensioners) — 16,633 16,633 Class C. (Artisans) — 42 42 Royal Naval Reserve 1,648 7,810 9,458 Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 451 3,741 4,192 Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve — 1,275 1,275 10,805 60,572 71,377 The above figures do not include officers and men serving in the Royal and Dominion navies or such as are embodied in the reserves of the Dominions.
production. Cheese is bought under a comprehensive contract for the principal Royal naval hospitals only and is English, Canadian or New Zealand cheddar at contractor's option. The estimated annual requirements are about 12 tons, but it is not known at the Admiralty what nature of cheese is in fact supplied. The excess cost of English cheddar over the average cost of the Canadian or New Zealand would be about 20 per cent. Butter and bacon are similarly bought for Royal naval hospitals only and are invariably of home or Dominion origin. The present contracts specify New Zealand butter and Canadian bacon. The estimated annual requirements are approximately:
Tons. Butter 17 Bacon 22
and the excess cost of supplying home products would be roughly 11 per cent. for butter and 32 per cent. for bacon. As regards vegetables, no country of origin is specified in the contracts, but it may be assumed that home produce is supplied when available and plentiful.