HC Deb 17 February 1942 vol 377 cc1656-7
70. Commander King-Hall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a wasteful expenditure of money is taking place in luxury restaurants; and whether he proposes to take any steps to direct this expenditure into channels more useful to the prosecution of the war and less harmful to the principle of equality of sacrifice?

Sir K. Wood

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Food has imposed restrictions on the supply of rationed foods to luxury as to other restaurants. If my hon. Friend has in mind the use of taxation for restricting this type of luxury expenditure, I would remind him that existing taxation, and in particular provisions made in my last get, have no doubt had a restricting effect. As regards further action, my hon. Friend will not expect me to anticipate my Budget statement.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider a suggestion I have made that all meals above a certain price should pay a heavy tax?

Mr. Riley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many West End restaurants scores of people are paying 20s. for a meal, and should not that be stopped?

Mr. E. Walkden

Could not a maximum price for meals be fixed?