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House Of Commons Catering

Volume 465: debated on Monday 16 May 1949

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53.

asked the hon. Member for West Walthamstow, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, whether the Committee's receipts during the year 1949–50, if continuing at their present level, will suffice to cover, while the House is sitting, expenditure at its present level.

It is difficult to know what is meant by "their present level," either in relation to the receipts or to expenditure. Receipts and expenditure vary widely from week to week, but receipts for this year to date show a considerable decrease on the previous three years, and an estimate of expenditure does not show a similar decrease. Whilst it is not possible to estimate with any degree of accuracy what the future receipts or expenditure will be, it would appear that unless an improvement takes place receipts will not cover expenditure for the year 1949–50. It is because these conditions have existed for many years that my Committee recently issued its Special Report, and I respectfully draw the attention of Members particularly to the last four paragraphs of that Report.

Is the hon. Member aware, in view of the Chancellor's remarks regarding Supplementary Estimates and in view of the gradual falling off of the receipts, that the Committee is facing bankruptcy?

I am quite sure that the Chancellor himself will be able to take care of that.