HC Deb 24 July 1967 vol 751 cc53-4
47. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will now introduce in the Private Dining Rooms a moderately priced menu, so that in future Members will not be precluded from entertaining the majority of their constituents.

Mr. Maxwell

I have been asked to reply.

As I told ale hon. Gentleman on 19th June, banqueting charges have recently been reviewed in the light of an independent inquiry into the working of the Refreshment Department, which resulted in the need to introduce prices comparable to those elsewhere. I cannot now undertake to reduce these prices, at least until such times as the Department breaks even, or to accept the hon. Gentleman's inference that they are prohibitive.

Mr. Irvine

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in my constituency 32s. 6d. is regarded as a very high price indeed for a lunch? Is he further aware that it is one of the functions of this House to have constituents coming here to enjoy such facilities as are available and that if these high prices are maintained a large number of them will be precluded from coming?

Mr. Maxwell

I am aware that out of hundreds of such bookings fewer than two have been cancelled because of the question of price. The prices established compare favourably with those outside. I hope that the hon. Gentleman's constituents will continue to come and enjoy the facilities of the House.