Hotels and Restaurants (House Charges).

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies. – in the House of Commons on 24th June 1942.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, in relation to the Metropolitan district, what principles have operated to fix the amount of house-charge in addition to the 5s. maximum meal charge at hotels and the like; in how many cases will this make the charge the same as before the new Order; and in how many cases will the present permitted additions make the total greater than before?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

As regards the first part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question, the principle which has in general been followed in granting licences to hotels and restaurants to make house

They invoice purchases and collect cash for Government account and are responsible for any bad debts. No part of the sums paid to the Associations is in respect of compensation for loss of business. Payments are only for services rendered in the wholesale distribution of meat.

Photo of Reverend George Woods Reverend George Woods , Finsbury

Is the hon. Gentleman entirely satisfied that the scheme is functioning satisfactorily? Is there not a good deal of redundancy and of unnecessary expense, which is added to the cost of meat?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

I have no evidence to that effect.

Photo of Reverend George Woods Reverend George Woods , Finsbury

Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to review the whole scheme?

Following is the statement:

charges is to approve a greater maximum charge for a meal than 5s. only where this appears to my Noble Friend to be necessary to enable an establishment to meet its necessary overhead charges. As regards the second and third parts of the Question, the licences granted are provisional only and are now being reviewed. On the figures as they stand, however, the maximum authorised cost of a meal will in nearly all cases be less than the average cost before the operation of the Order, in a few cases the maximum charge will be equal to the previous average cost, while in a few cases the authorised maximum charges will be greater than the previous average cost.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Would my hon. Friend speed up this review, because this Order, which was intended to reduce prices has given Government sanction to an increase which is entirely unjustified, and of which everybody is taking advantage?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

My Noble Friend is most anxious to pursue the review speedily.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

What is to prevent a per-son who is not satisfied with what he gets at one hotel going to another?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

Probably time and money.