HC Deb 23 March 1987 vol 113 cc17-8
24. Mr. Harris

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will take steps to secure the withdrawal of curried Cornish pasties from the cafeterias of the House; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Irving (The Chairman of the Catering Sub-Committee)

I have been asked to reply.

I unreservedly apologise to my hon. Friend for the human error that occurred when his delectable cornish pasty, whose name and fame is worldwide, was attributed to another of lesser renown; and the Catering Sub-Committee, through the General Manager, has taken immediate corrective action.

Mr. Harris

Does my hon. Friend realise that I am completely disarmed by that helpful reply? Does he also appreciate that if such action had not been taken his own very fine reputation as the best Chairman of the Catering Sub-Committee that the House has ever seen might well have been in jeopardy? While on the subject of pasties, may I go a little further? Does he realise that this insult against the culinary traditions of Cornwall has been further intensified by the fact that a more conventional type of pasty, sold as a Cornish pasty in the House, has a giveaway tag on its cellophane wrapper which reads "Made in Kent"? Will he, therefore, after these exchanges, taste a real genuine Cornish pasty that has been kindly made for him by a constituent of mine?

Mr. Irving

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend, who is a great defender of Cornish traditions. I think that he may be able to help me by sending me a note to tell me the sort of name that he would give to this Cornish patsie—I am sorry, pasty.

Miss Fookes

May I invite my hon Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Harris) to send my hon. Friend the Chairman of the Catering Sub-Committee an authentic Cornish recipe, if he could do so without engendering further controversy?

Mr. Irving

That is a most admirable suggestion.

Mr. Key

In order to make amends to the people of Cornwall, and in recognition of the fact that they have just elected another Liberal hon. Member to this honourable House, will my hon. Friend consider the introduction to the menus of this House of that very fishy dish Stargazy Pie?

Mr. Irving

I should be very happy to give that matter careful consideration. However, I am afraid that pasties or patsies are non-political.

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