HC Deb 17 March 1948 vol 448 cc2088-9
50. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Food why organisations representing the hotels and restaurants industry in this country were not, informed by his Department of the modification of the Order relating to social and business gatherings of more than 100; whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused because the new arrangements were brought into force before details of the modified Order were made available to hotels and restaurants; and whether he will undertake that in future before making changes which materially affect the staffing and supplies and long term contracts of hotels and restaurants, he will provide the industry with the necessary information in good time.

54. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that despite the modification on 10th March of the Order relating to social and business gatherings of more than 100 and the fact that the new arrangements were to take effect at once, managers of hotels and restaurants who subsequently telephoned to his Department asking for information on the subject were informed that no detailed information was available; and whether he can arrange for co-ordination in such matters in the future.

Dr. Summerskill

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Sir. P. Macdonald) on 15th March.

Sir T. Moore

Was it not somewhat discourteous to ignore the very people most intimately connected with this change in Government policy?

Dr. Summerskill

I should remind the hon. and gallant Member that caterers were informed of this on the day the Order came into force. It would be quite wrong to give them information before the Minister made a statement in the House.

Mr. Teeling

Does the hon. Lady realise that when Ministers are about to make Orders such as this they very often take care to see that the particular industry is warned beforehand?

Dr. Summerskill

This House is quite rightly jealous of its privileges and if in all cases that were done, hon. Members would be very critical of Ministers.