§ Mr. Brazier
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future arrangements for the purchase and distribution of food for the armed services.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
Responsibility for the purchase and distribution of food to the armed services is currently split between the Director General of Supplies and Transport (Naval), the Royal Logistic Corps and the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI). Following a detailed study, I have concluded in principle that the task should be rationalised and that, subject to satisfactory terms being negotiated, a fixed-term contract should be awarded in the first instance to NAAFI. Once consolidation has been achieved, as much of the work as possible will be subjected to market testing. The responsibility for the policy and management of food supply will remain within the Ministry of Defence.
We shall be consulting interested parties, in particular the Ministry of Defence trade unions, about the proposal in the normal way. I am placing a copy of the consultative document in the Library of the House.