HC Deb 12 March 1984 vol 56 c16
33. Mr. Greenway

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Catering Sub-Committee is consulted about the menus in the Members Dining Room and cafeteria; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Montgomery

I have been asked to reply to this question.

The Catering Sub-Committee is not consulted about menus, which are the responsibility of the Head of the Refreshment Department and the Executive Chef. I hope the House will agree that the choice is admirably varied and the value excellent.

Mr. Greenway

I am sure that the House agrees with my hon. Friend, but does he share my regret at the decline of the traditional British pudding? Does he agree that Parliament has a role to play in preserving good rice pudding, summer pudding, plum pie and similar delights by placing them even more regularly on our menus? Does he not think that schools and housewives would then follow the example set by the House and keep the traditional pudding alive?

Mr. Montgomery

I remind my hon. Friend that there is a wide range of puddings on offer. In a 37-week parliamentary year rice pudding was on the menu more than 40 times, summer pudding 10 times—in view of our summer, that seems reasonable—and plum pudding 50 times around Christmas and 10 times in other periods of the year. I admire the way in which my hon. Friend has managed to keep his figure—he perhaps feels that he should be built up—but most hon. Members need to be built down because we have dietary problems. Therefore, we try to avoid fatty puds whenever we can. If my hon. Friend had been in the House at lunchtime today, however, instead of in his constituency, where I know that he is most diligent, he would have noticed that both plum pudding and custard and creamy rice with blackcurrants were on the menu.

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