HC Deb 05 July 1937 vol 326 cc31-2
57. Colonel Goodman

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, whether his attention has been called to the continuance of the trading loss incurred by the Select Committee on the Kitchen and Refreshment Rooms of the House of Commons and to the observation in their report that, in the absence of the restoration of an annual subvention or of the defrayment by the Treasury of the cost of staff and equipment, it will be necessary for the price of meals to be raised; and whether he is in a position to make any statement on the subject.

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend has already informed the Chairman of the Select Committee that he would feel the greatest difficulty in agreeing to relieve the Committee of their liabilities at the expense of the taxpayer. I would remind my hon. Friend that the Kitchen Committee already, receives at the cost of State Funds certain free services, and my right hon. Friend does not feel a case exists for still further assistance from State Funds, especially in view of the recent increase in the salaries of Members.

Mr. MacLaren

Does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman think the time has come for an inquiry to be made regarding the whole management of these kitchens?

Mr. Thorne

Is this the policy that is to be pursued, that you are going to bang in our faces the increase of Members' salaries every time anything of this sort is asked for?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

There is no suggestion of "banging in the face," but I am repeating the view of my right hon. Friend and the Government that they do not think there is any case for granting increased assistance.

Mr. Logan

Is it not possible to bring this place up to date and to modernise it?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I am not responsible for the management of the kitchens. I am concerned with the question of an increased grant, and I have said that it is not possible to give it.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not get the advice of the hon. Member who represents Lyons?