HC Deb 30 November 1953 vol 521 cc762-3
46. Mr. Lewis

asked the hon. Member for Woolwich, West, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, why he is unable to give the cost of meals, snacks, etc., in the Members' Dining Room and Strangers' Dining Room, etc., as at 1st April, 1946; what has happened to the Kitchen Committee records and accounts for this year; and whether he will obtain from the printers of the menus copies of these so as to publish in the Official Report the cost of meals, etc., charged in the restaurant department in the year 1946.

Mr. William A. Steward

Records of trading and accounts are available for the year 1946, but no menu cards were filed for that year. Therefore, no record of the prices charged for the various dishes provided can be found. The printers do not hold copies of the department's menu cards for more than three years and they have no copy for the particular year in question.

Mr. Lewis

Surely it is not too much to ask the hon. Gentleman to go back to 1946 to get the records. He knows that there are many restaurants throughout the country whose menus go back many years. Is it not possible for him to give us more information than he has done?

Mr. Steward

The record of sales merely show the analysis of the daily total of takings of each section and not the prices charged. I assure the hon. Gentleman that every effort has been made to obtain for him the information for which he asks. In the very thorough search which was made we found menus that went back as far as 1906–7. Furthermore, I have a very fine specimen here, dated Friday, 3rd June, 1864, and if the information contained in it would be of any use to the hon. Member no doubt he will let me know.