HC Deb 07 March 1983 vol 38 cc557-8
24. Mr. Canavan

asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what subjects the Commission expects to discuss at its next meeting with trades union representatives of House employees.

Mr. Arthur Bottomley

Negotiations and consultations are usually carried on between representatives of management and trade unions without the direct involvement of the Commission.

Mr. Canavan

Is the Commission aware of the widespread resentment felt by House of Commons staff about the decision to ban them from buying certain souvenir items such as House of Commons ties, ashtrays, and beer tankards, which are now on sale in the kiosk downstairs to hon. Members only? Were the trade unions or staff consulted before such a discriminatory and petty-minded policy was implemented?

Mr. Bottomley

My hon. Friend will appreciate that this is a matter for the Catering Sub-Committee of the House of Commons (Services) Committee. I assure him that I take note of his question and will consider the matter.

Mr. Ray Powell

Is my right hon. Friend aware of early-day motion No. 312, which asks the Commission to look closely at medical facilities for the staff in the House? Will my right hon. Friend ensure that the subject appears on one of the agendas so that it can receive serious consideration? It is urgently needed.

Mr. Bottomley

The Commission has taken action and gained some medical staff here. There was none for years. I shall submit the matter to my colleagues on the Commission to see whether it should be reconsidered.

Mr. Cormack

To return to the question asked by the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan), is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a fairly unanimous feeling on the House of Commons (Services) Committee that the House of Commons portcullis insignia should not be freely and indiscriminately available to anyone other than hon. Members?