HC Deb 22 March 1948 vol 448 cc2578-9
60. Mr. Carson

asked the hon. Member for Walthamstow, West, as representing the Kitchen Committee, on what grounds the suggestion book in the Members' Dining Room has been abolished; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. McEntee

The Committee's decision was unanimous, and was on the grounds of greater efficiency and to avoid delay. The book was not often used, and contained only 141 entries in 36 years, and of these entries only 27 were suggestions—an average of one suggestion in each 16 months, and 110 were complaints—an average of approximately three in each year. Nearly all complaints of the kind appearing in the book can be dealt with immediately if reported to the head waiter in the dining room, and, if the complainant is still dissatisfied, he can make his complaint verbally or in writing to the chairman. Suggestions, also, can be made verbally or in writing to the chairman, and will receive careful and prompt consideration.

Mr. Carson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this book has been in existence since 1912, and does he think there is any real reason for abolishing it now after so many years?

Mr. McEntee

I have given the reasons which the Committee considered at two meetings, and they were unanimous in the decision to which they came. I would add that during the two years in which I have been Chairman I have had more personal suggestions than have appeared in the book.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is my hon. Friend aware that a great many Members did not even know of the existence of the book, and that the fact that it has now been abolished is clear evidence to some of us of the sensitivity of the Kitchen Committee to criticisms?

Mr. McEntee

The fact that most Members did not know the book was there proves, in my view, how useless it was.

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