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Aircrews (Meat Ration)

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for Air what scale of meat is issued to aircrew of the Royal Air Force in this country.

The daily scale for aircrew living in is 41/14 ounces. Aircrew who live out, like all other Service personnel in this country who live out, receive the same meat rations as civilians, but may buy meals in their mess or dining room. Both living in and living out aircrew, however, receive an additional 1⅙ ounces a day when doing night flying following normal daily duty.

Does not the Under-Secretary think this is quite an inadequate amount of meat for men who are flying at a speed near that of sound? Why should these men get less than those serving in the Merchant Service or on trawlers? In view of the high casualty rate of aircrew in jet aircraft will he make strenuous efforts to see that the men are properly fed? Is he aware that there is a view held—the Minister of Defence is laughing. Is he laughing at casualties in the Air Force?

Then let him take the smile off his face. Will the Under-Secretary review the matter because there is a widely held view that the ration is inadequate?

We should all like a little more meat and I have made my own inquiries into this matter. As a matter of fact, on the best estimate I can make, aircrews get a little more meat than miners. However, we review their supplies every year and if we can ensure extra supplies for them we will do so.

Is the Under-Secretary aware that in my humble opinion a man needs more meat to march 14 miles than to fly an aircraft?

Is the Minister aware that the merchant seamen's meat allowance is 4 lb. 11 oz. a week? Would it not be a good thing to make these two rations more equal?

The medical authorities in the Air Force are satisfied that the present ration is adequate.

If the medical authorities are satisfied, others are not. I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter again as soon as possible.