HC Deb 02 November 1966 vol 735 cc453-4
35. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, in order to increase the revenue of the Refreshment Department of the House, he will consider the opening of the dining facilities to the general public during Parliamentary recesses.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Richard Crossman)

This proposal will be taken into account in the review which is being conducted of the finances of the Refreshment Department.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that it is absurd for these dining facilities to be idle for four months in the year when they could be earning money, probably from many people who would be quite anxious to come in at any rate once and taste the food we get in this House?

Mr. Crossman

The suggestion has certain obvious economic advantages, but it would raise grave problems of security and staffing. If it were to be pursued, it would have to be done by the Services Committee as a whole.

Sir C. Osborne

Will the right hon. Gentleman resist this preposterous suggestion and see that the House of Commons is not turned into a street corner cafeteria?

Hon. Members

It is already.

Mr. Crossman

I said that if the suggestion is to be considered at all it must be done by the full Services Committee.