§ 10. Mr. Frank McLeavy
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take to prevent the practice of London hotels of raising their accommodation charges at times when extra numbers of visitors are expected, particularly in connection with the Festival of Britain.
Mr. H. Wilson
It has always been the normal practice of hotels to charge lower prices out of the season than during the season. This practice is a sensible one in that it encourages greater use of hotel services in the off-season. I have no knowledge of any proposal significantly to increase hotel prices during the period of the Festival of Britain and many hotels have, in fact, already let their accommodation for this period at normal rates.
§ Mr. McLeavy
Is my right hon. Friend aware that during the recent British Industries Fair, one London hotel in particular doubled its charges, an action which was very much resented? In view of the importance of the Festival of Britain, can he at least give an assurance, not only to visitors from outside London but also to visitors from abroad, that hotels will not be allowed to profiteer at the expense of this great national effort?
I have investigated the case to which my hon. Friend refers, and I find that it is a case in which, owing to the shortage of accommodation, a visitor from the provinces was occupying a 533 double room and was, therefore, charged more than he would have been if he had had a single room. With regard to the Festival of Britain, we are watching the position, but I am quite sure that the hotel trade generally will exercise reasonable restraint.