Mr. R. W. MAYHEW (Victoria, B.C.):
Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a statement on behalf of the joint committee on the parliamentary restaurant with respect to certain assertions made in local newspapers of recent date. The public must not be led to believe that the whole staff is kept on and paid when the house is not in session and the restaurant is closed. There are in that place employees doing a kind of work which requires experience and special qualifications. A competent manager and chef cannot be found and are not efficient unless they are given continuous employment. They will not accept positions for five months of the year.
Labour Shortage in Sanatoria
There is something to do in the restaurant after the session, such as inventories, repairs and the settlement of accounts, et cetera, which necessitates the employment of a couple of clerks. The manager has kept two and sometimes three persons for that purpose. It is a small proportion when we consider that there is a staff of fifty employees for the service of the kitchen, main diningroom and cafeteria.
The joint committee on the restaurant held meetings on March 4, 8 and 21 and is exercising close supervision on the management. A subcommittee has been appointed to inquire into conditions and report as soon as possible. The committee realizes that the restaurant is a necessity in our parliamentary life and must be managed economically. A serious effort is being made to reduce the expenses wdthout impairing the service.
A strong protest ought to be raised against insinuations that there is something wrong with bookkeeping in the restaurant, that members are not paying their bills regularly. The last report, received this week, shows that the outstanding accounts receivable amounted to only $7.40.
The allegation that the restaurant operates with a profit of 811,000 during the session, wasted by paying salaries during recess, is inaccurate, because it is based on a partial financial statement covering only a part of the year and does not show the actual receipts and expenses for the year 1943-44 which will only be completed at the end of this month.
Subtopic: STAFF-STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF JOINT COMMITTEE AS TO CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT