asked the Secretary of State for War whether to allay the apprehension of many who believe that, under proper supervision, the United Services fund would have benefited to the extent of £13,000,000, whereas it has at present received only about £4,000,000, he will now institute a public inquiry into the trading operations and working of the Navy and Army Canteens Board and Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, and report fully to Parliament the findings and recommendations?
No, Sir; I think we must await the completion of the accounts of the trading in question, which, as my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, are now in course of preparation by Messrs. Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths and Company. In any case the question of the trading of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes is not relevant, as that organisation did not come into existence until 1st January, 1921. The question of the losses incurred by the Navy and Army Canteen Board in 1919 and 1920 during demobilisation has been dealt with by the Committee presided over by my hon. Friend the Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield which recommended that these losses should be set against the previous profits. I would further add that the payment of about £4,000,000 already made was merely a payment on account.