HC Deb 10 March 1986 vol 93 cc660-1
43. Mr. Greenway

asked the Lord Privy Seal what increases there have been in staff employed by each Department of the House since 1975, including the Refreshment Department; what change there has been in the number of meals served each year and in the financial turnover of that Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Biffen

With permission, I will arrange for the detailed information requested to be set out in the Official Report.

Mr. Greenway

Can my right hon. Friend confirm that I have correctly understood the Official Report, which said that hundreds more meals are being served per year but that the Refreshment Department has only one extra member of staff? Is this not a matter of great congratulation to Mr. Smillie and his staff? Who is eating all these extra meals? Can my right hon. Friend also thank the staff for the much higher standard of rice puddings since I last raised the matter?

Mr. Biffen

I think that this is a classic case of where an hon. Member knows the answer before he puts down the question. I must confirm that my hon. Friend is quite right in saying that there has been a substantial increase in the number of meals that are served by the same number of staff.

Following is the information:

Refreshment Department: Financial Turnover
Financial Year Financial Turnover £ Annual increase £
∗1974–75 452,053
1975–76 610,248 +158,195
1976–77 735,572 +125,324
1977–78 745,330 +9,758
1978–79 915,564 +170,234
∗1979–80 1,041,061 +125,497
1980–81 1,356,906 +315,845
1981–82 1,387,195 +30,289
1982–83 1,628,345 +241,150
∗1983–84 1,651,930 +23,585
1984–85 2,091,313 +439,383
Total increase over period +1,639,260
∗ General Election Years.

The estimated number of main meals served in the banqueting rooms, dining rooms and cafeterias for the last three complete financial years are as follows:

1982–83 223,436
1983–84 216,859
1984–85 251,049

Information relating to earlier years is no longer available.