HC Deb 23 March 1999 vol 328 cc131-2W
Mr. Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what stocks of(a) wine, (b) spirits and (c) beer and other alcoholic beverages are held by his Department; what is their value in each case; and if he will make a statement. [74244]

Mr. Dewar

[holding answer 3 March 1999]: The following represents the total stocks of wines, spirits and beers and other alcoholic beverages held in the hospitality cabinets of all 7 Scottish Office Ministers in St. Andrew's House, Victoria Quay, Meridian Court and Dover House:

Total purchase price (£)
Ministerial drinks cabinets Stocks held centrally for dinners and receptions
Wines 27.75 1,225.90
Spirits 265.28 776.59
Beers and other alcoholic beverages 56.83 286.34

These costs are part of the provision of £75,000 made for hospitality in The Scottish Office for the current financial year. That provision, of course, also covers the other more significant costs associated with hospitality, i.e. food, catering staff costs, venue hire, flowers, etc., of all official receptions, lunches and dinners hosted by The Scottish Office during 1998–99. I consider this to be reasonable provision for maintaining acceptable standards of hospitality for official visitors and guests, including representatives of foreign Governments.