HC Deb 10 August 1871 vol 208 c1310

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether Westminster Hall is under his control; and, if so, why the sale of refreshments therein is suspended during the Recess?


, in reply, said, it was a remarkable illustration of the curious way in which the affairs of this country were administered that while the buildings on both sides of Westminster Hall were undoubtedly under his charge as First Commissioner of Works, and he had a good deal to say to them, yet the Hall itself was by Letters Patent under the charge of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, and they were the parties who had the regulation of the sale of fruit and edibles in Westminster Hall. With regard to the person who accommodated the public by selling provisions there, he had received a communication from the Commissioners, who explained that, during the sitting of Parliament, a large number of persons frequented the Hall, and required refreshments; but during the Recess the number of visitors was much smaller, and they were to a great extent visitors to the Courts of Law, for whose accommodation refreshments were sold inside the doorway of the Court of Queen's Bench, from which the inference might be deduced that it was not deemed necessary that they should be sold outside that doorway.