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Armed Forces, India (Prices)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that R.A.F. personnel stationed in India have to pay 9d. each for razor blades; 3s. for a tube of tooth paste, beer 4s. per bottle and 1s. 6d. for a tin of boot polish; and whether he will take steps to encourage the extension of N.A.A.F.I. facilities to the troops in India?

I have been asked by my right hon. Friend to reply. I am aware that prices for European goods are high in India, and the Government of India's policy in this matter is to alleviate the position for the Services by the provision to the utmost extent possible of canteen facilities for the purchase of articles such as those referred to and by the fixing of reasonable prices in such canteens. Canteens in India are run by the Indian Canteens Department which is controlled by the Government of India and it is administratively undesirable that there should be overlapping between that Department and N.A.A.F.I.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether tobacco can be obtained in the same quantity and at the same prices by the troops in India as by troops in other commands?

I understand that there has been a considerable rise in the price of tobacco in India but that prices ordinary brands still compare not unfavourably with those charged by N.A.A.F.I. in other commands. Small parcels of tobacco, cigars and cigarettes may be sent duty free from this country to members of the Forces serving in India.