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Still And Carbonated Waters

Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Lord President of the Council what quantity of still and carbonated waters were sold in the House of Commons Refreshment Department in the last year; from what countries; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.

In the year ending February 1988, 34,000 bottles of still and carbonated spring and mineral waters were sold by the Refreshment Department. Of those, 10,300 pints were British and 13,700 pints were French. The Catering Sub-Committee has recently decided to promote the sale of British waters by selecting waters from England, Scotland and Wales that will bear the House of Commons own label. It is hoped that those waters will be available for sale after the Easter recess, and we shall also be selling them in the Kiosk, thereby doubling the amount that we sell each year and making an increased profit.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. May I remind him that he, the right hon. Member for Morley and Leeds South (M r. Rees) and I were members of the Sub-Committee that chose the excellent English, Scottish and Welsh waters that the House has so enjoyed? Has the time not come to eliminate French waters from this House?

We do not intend to eliminate Perrier water. That would be totally undemocratic and it would be very much more difficult to obtain.

I am ashamed and disgusted that we carry foreign waters in this place. What about fighting for Britain? What about the British waters? It is high time that the policy was changed.

In reply to the hon. Gentleman, I can state that that is exactly what we are doing, and I am grateful to him for the compliment.