HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc763-4
32. Mr. Steen

To ask the Lord Privy Seal what progress has been made in selecting British mineral waters for the House; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wakeham

I understand that the Refreshment Department has recently organised a series of tastings of British mineral and spring waters and will be making proposals to the appropriate Sub-Committee of the Services Committee. A decision will be taken when that Sub-Committee has had an opportunity to consider the matter.

Mr. Steen

The House owes a good deal of gratitude to the Chairman of the Services Committee and his excellent staff for giving the House a chance to taste more than 50 commercial mineral waters from all over Britain. When the Services Committee makes its final decision about which English, Scottish and Welsh waters are to be drunk in the House, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the foreign waters currently drunk in the House are expelled from the list? I understand that foreign water was not part of the original water that was tasted by the water tasting Committee, which tasted only British water.

Mr. Wakeham

I certainly hope that in any tasting of British water, there was only British water to taste. These are weighty matters, which will be dealt with ably by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee that deals with refreshments once it gets going.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, in the absence of Epping Forest water, Exmoor water, which is extremely good, was tasted?

Mr. Wakeham

I hear from hon. Friends behind me that it was.