Oral Answers to Questions — Navy and Army Canteen Board.

– in the House of Commons on 4th July 1923.

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Photo of Colonel Sir Arthur Holbrook Colonel Sir Arthur Holbrook , Basingstoke


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is able to state what proportion of the sum of £100,000, allocated from the Navy and Army Canteen Board's funds after the Armistice for recreational kit for troops awaiting demobilisation, was sent overseas: how the amount distributed at home by the Army physical training authorities was divided between the various branches of the Army; and if this sum of £100,000 was included in the item of £599,327 referred to as various general grants in the Report of Sir William Plender (Command Paper No. 1,717)?

Photo of Mr Rupert Gwynne Mr Rupert Gwynne , Eastbourne

I cannot precisely verify the hon. and gallant Member's information, and I am not aware of its source, but, if it has been derived from the inquiries of the Select Committee of which he is a member, I would suggest that the matter could best be pursued at present by that Committee rather than by way of question and answer in the House. In general, my information is that, in the early months of 1919, £100,000 was issued from the funds of the Expeditionary Force Canteens to the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief the British Armies in France for expenditure on recreational kit for the troops in France and Flanders then awaiting demobilisation. The sum actually so spent was a-bout £84,000, and the Commander-in-Chief was instructed in July, 1919, to return the cash balance to the Expeditionary Force Canteens. None of this expenditure related to troops at home. I cannot say how the expenditure was distributed amongst the various branches of the Army overseas. No doubt the expenditure in question is included in the total of £599,000 odd on page 6 of the Command Paper, where "Recreational Kit" is specifically mentioned.