HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc187-8W
Sir D. Kaberry

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff and other canteens are established and run in his Department's offices in London; what is the lowest price charged for a midday meal; what is the average price charged; whether those prices represent the economic cost of purchases, preparation, service and rentals; how much profit is made or how much loss sustained in a year; and how a loss is dealt with in the annual accounts or estimates of his Department.

Sir F. Soskice

The Home Office has two Staff restaurants and one small snack bar which operate on a cafeteria basis. Each is operated by a small committee of users which determines the price of the items on the menu. The minimum price for a simple two course meal is 2s. 5d. and the average price of meals served is 3s. 3d. The prices are designed to cover cost of food, cost of labour and certain minor overheads. There is no payment for rent, rates, fixed equipment, light, heat and fuel; these are borne on the Ministry of Public Building and Works Vote. Cleaning is provided by the Department as a part of office cleaning or an equivalent cash subsidy given in lieu. There is a small labour subsidy not exceeding £70 per annum allowed for restaurants employing less than 12 catering staff. Trading is operated on a no profit, no loss basis. Audited Accounts have to be submitted annually to the principal establishment officer and the Treasury catering adviser. If a staff restaurant committee through unforeseen circumstances incurs a loss, the Treasury catering adviser is required to investigate and give advice designed to ensure that measures are taken to stabilise the trading.