HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc183-4W
Sir D. Kaberry

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science 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. Crosland

The numbers are as follows:

Curzon Street House 1, Canons Park (Teachers Salaries and Pensions Branches) 1, Victoria and Albert Museum 1. Science Museum 1.

All are operated by management committees of users. The prices of meals are fixed by the Committees, but at Curzon Street House and Canons Park items are normally priced separately. The minimum price for which a two course meal is available at these two restaurants is 2s. 3d. and the average price 3s. ld. At the Victoria and Albert Museum prices are fixed at 1s. 5d. or ls. 9d. and at the Science Museum 2s. 3d.

At Curzon Street House and Canons Park the prices are designed to cover cost of food, cost of labour and certain minor overheads. The same applies to the canteens at the Museums except that a small labour subsidy of £70 per annum is allowed at the Science Museum and the cost of labour is met from the Museum's vote at the canteen provided for industrial grades at the V. and A. At all canteens 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. Trading is operated on a no profit, no loss basis. Audited Accounts have to be submitted annually to the Director of Establishments 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.