HC Deb 07 March 1960 vol 619 cc33-4
45. Mr. Driberg

asked the hon. Member for Holland with Boston as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee if, for the information of hon. Members now participating in the boycott of South African goods, he will circulate in HANSARD a list of the articles of South African origin supplied by the Refreshment Department, and identify them on the menus, wine-lists, etc., in the rooms in which they are served.

Sir H. Butcher

To ascertain the country of origin of all goods supplied by the Kitchen Committee would be to impose a substantial burden on a limited staff. It is not likely that menus or lists indicating this would be accurate for very long.

Mr. Driberg

I did not ask the hon. Member to do it for very long, and I did not ask him to indicate all the countries of origin. Is he aware that this information would be useful to hon. Members taking part in this boycott, which is supported by members of all the political parties represented in this House, and that it would also be useful to those hon. Members who prefer to follow the example of Mr. Randolph Churchill and Sir Oswald Mosley and consume as much as they can of South African produce?

Sir H. Butcher

The hon. Gentleman will find that South African wines supplied by the Refreshment Department were already differentiated on the wine list. I would further advise him, if he desires to practise the boycott, to avoid fruit salad for the near future.

Mr. Smithers

Will my hon. Friend recognise the great importance of the Question on the Order Paper, which represents the highest common political factor of Members on the benches opposite?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

From movement, I understood that the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee desired to answer. If that is not so, I will call another Question.

Sir H. Butcher

I was only going to say, Sir, that I think it is wise to allow the general manager of the Department to purchase supplies from the best sources available, irrespective of pressures from constituents for political purposes.

Mr. Nabarro

Will not my hon. Friend agree that the Socialist-proposed boycott of South African goods is about as stupid as their vendetta in regard to Spain?

Mr. Speaker

I rather doubt whether that is a question for the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee.

Mr. Nabarro

Jolly good question, though.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

I think that the best solution for hon. Members who wish to take part in this childish business would be to bring sandwiches with them from home during the month of March.