Topic: Army Rations
Bacon for the Garrison (Halifax, 1908)
Militia Department Gets It Cheap, but Soldiers Don't Like It—May Be Roll Bacon
The Montreal Gazette, 10 April 1908
Halifax, N.S., April 9.—(Special.)—The prices quoted in the House of Commons by the Militia Department as paid to J.F. Outhit on his contract for supplies of breakfast bacon to the Halifax garrison were interesting to the trade in this city. The parliamentary return shows that J.F. Outhit tendered to supply the Militia Department with breakfast bacon at 13 3/4 cents per pound. The packers' wholesale price for breakfast bacon all last year was 15 cents. No one could buy it for less from any reliable packer. In 1906 Outhit tendered at 14 cents, and this year his tender is 13 3/4 c, the packers' wholesale price being 14 c. At this rate, in three years, the loss would be about $1,500, the quantity taken each year being about 47,000 pounds. It is to be noted that while breakfast bacon was worth 14 and 15 cents at the packers' warehouses, roll bacon was offered at 10 5/8 cents. The question is asked: was there a mistake under which the garrison may have got roll bacon instead of breakfast bacon. Davis & Fraser say that such was the case. The department asserts that the supply officer of the department, Major E. Dodge, made no complaint, but the rank and file of the garrison complained bitterly. Often the men refused to eat the bacon, and it became a custom for the soldiers to take this bacon to the canteen, which is run as a private venture at the barracks, and get that institution to take the bacon at a valuation, and, instead of money, take other goods that they could eat in exchange for it.
This bacon affair at the barracks has been a fruitful source of trouble, and the soldiers say that even is the supply officer does not complain about it, the amount of breakfast bacon they received seemed small, and was seen at rare intervals. The soldiers think that Judge Cassels, who is to report on the Civil Service Commission's report, could very profitably spend a portion of his time looking into the Halifax military contracts. They think he might learn a lot.