§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that a change has recently been made in the practice of supplying Royal Fleet Auxiliary oilers with fresh and dry ships' provisions during their stay in port and for their voyages, and that the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes are thus entering into competition with private traders for the supply of these stores; and whether, seeing that the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes have a preferential position over private traders, he proposes to discontinue the new practice which must detrimentally affect the local traders in naval ports?
When the Admiralty are responsible for the provision and cost of messing, we supply these vessels through the ordinary victualling arrangements of the Fleet or by purchase from the institutes referred to. The crews of the large number of vessels who provide their own messing 1635W buy where they like, but are not supplied by the institutes. I do not consider that any change is required.