HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc173-4W
Sir D. Kaberry

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies 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.

Mr. Greenwood

The Colonial Office has one staff restaurant in the Department's offices in London. It is operated by a management committee of users.

Items of food are priced individually but, on the basis of the cheapest meat dish with one vegetable followed by a sweet, the lowest price charged for a mid-day meal is 2s. 3d. and the average price of a mid-day meal is 3s. 0d.

These prices are designed to cover the 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 services are not provided as a part of office cleaning but an equivalent cash subsidy is given in lieu. A small labour subsidy of £50 per annum is also provided.

The restaurant is run on a no-profit no-loss basis. Audited accounts are submitted annually to the Establishment Officer and the Treasury Catering Adviser. If through unforeseen circumstances a loss is incurred remedial measures to stabilise the trading are taken in consultation, if necessary, with the Treasury Catering Adviser.

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