HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 c2458
60. Sir T. Moore

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what considerations guided his Ministry in deciding to make the house charges in certain restaurants more than the permitted cost of a meal?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Mabane)

House charges are intended to meet the excess of inescapable overhead charges in any particular catering establishment over the normal gross profit on a meal sold at 5s. For the purpose of convenience catering establishments, more particularly in London, were classified in groups and house charges for each group were fixed in accordance with the normal excess in that group.

Sir T. Moore

Is it really not somewhat ridiculous to charge more for the surroundings to a meal than for the actual meal itself?

Mr. Mabane

That is a matter to be judged by those who pay for it.

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