asked the hon. Member for Woolwich, West, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, if, in view of the present congestion in the Strangers' Dining Room, he will consider using the Harcourt Room after the Recess for luncheons and dinners for visitors as in previous Parliaments.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the present tables in the Dining Room are very overcrowded? As many visitors are expected in Coronation year, exceeding the number this year, would he do what he can to persuade his Committee to restore the Harcourt Room to the purpose for which it was built and for which hitherto it has always been used?
The need for additional guest room accommodation for lunch and dinner on certain occasions is appreciated, but during most of the week the facilities now provided appear to cope adequately with the demand. I will, however, draw the attention of the Committee to the remarks of my hon. Friend.
Was this arrangement not announced in the House as being in accordance with the expressed purpose of the Committee to try to make a profit out of catering? Could the convenience of Members be re-instated in its proper position of priority?
Is my hon. Friend aware that there would be more people coming to the House for dinner if they knew for certain that they would get a table? Do the Committee estimate that a greater revenue would accrue to the Committee if the Harcourt Room were used as at present or if it were used as a dining room?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a fortnight ago, when I had my wife and another lady to lunch, within half an hour of lunching we were asked to vacate our table because the head waiter claimed that scores of people were waiting for the table, and that that was in the middle of the week?