HC Deb 18 July 1946 vol 425 cc256-7W
85 and 87. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Food (1) by what authority certain hotels and restaurants make a house charge in addition to a charge for a meal; how many hotels and restaurants in London make a house charge; and what are the respective amounts of such charges;

(2) whether, in view of the fact that making a house charge in addition to charging for a meal places the hotel or restaurant so doing in a position to buy food at more than the control prices, he will prohibit the making of house charges in such hotels and restaurants.

Dr. Edith Summerskill

Licences to hotels and restaurants to impose a house charge are issued in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of the Meals in Establishments Order, 1942. The purpose of the charge is to meet exceptional costs and establishments making a house charge are not entitled to pay more than the permitted maximum prices for food, which in any event would be illegal. I do not propose to abolish house charges. The number of catering establishments in London authorised to make house charges is 127; the amount of the house charges varies from 6d. to 3s. 6d. for lunch and from 6d. to 6s. for dinner.