Catering

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Lord President of the Council, in view of the continued losses made by the Catering Department, if he will offer the work to a commercial firm of repute, with power to charge adequate prices for meals and to end the subsidisation of meals to Members of Parliament and the staff.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

The question of asking a commercial firm to take over the work of the Catering Department is one which is being considered in the current review of the Department being made by the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services).

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that Answer. In view of the beating which M.P.s have taken from the Press recently over this£10,000 loss, would he not agree that it should be pointed out that£4,500 of it was on behalf of the Press itself, £2,500—nearly £3,000—was on behalf of the staff catering canteen and a very small amount was for M.P.s themselves?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for helping me by giving those facts. It is worth noting that £4,500 of the loss was incurred in that part devoted to the Press. This is something to be considered. We are looking at the matter again, to see whether we should revise the organisation.