Clause 12. — (Extensions of provisions of this Act to retail trading else-where than in shops.)

Orders of the Day — Shops (Sunday Trading Restriction) Bill. – in the House of Commons on 1st May 1936.

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2.33 p.m.

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

I beg to move, in page 11, line 32, at the end, to insert "(including shell-fish)."

In moving this Amendment, I would like to say to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson), who also has an Amendment down on this matter, that I am advised that the word "shell-fish" includes everything which is mentioned in his Amendment, with the exception of eels, which are covered by the word "fish." I would point out that the Act of 1861 held that fish included crayfish and oysters, and my hon. and gallant Friend has taken the wording of his Amendment from the Sea Fishing Industry Act, 1933, but that Act dealt with sea fishing only. I am quite content that the word "fish" covers fish of all kinds, and that the word "shell-fish" includes every possible kind of shell-fish.

2.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

The House will realise from certain information which I got the other night how wide are the ramifications of this Bill. It was my privilege to attend a costermongers' dinner in Hoxton. Naturally, as the Member for the borough, I was the guest of honour and I sat next to the chairman. In the course of the evening the chairman told me that it was his habit at week-ends to purchase a considerable supply of cockles and whelks from as far away as Scotland, to cook them on Saturday night and to sell them on Sunday morning. He said the people bought them in order that they might enjoy that addition to their Sunday tea. It was unusual for them to have cockles or whelks on any other day of the week. My informant explained to me that if the Bill passed in its present form he would not be able in future to buy cockles and whelks for the families of Hoxton, who would therefore have to go without that particular relish for their tea on Sunday. Therefore, I am glad that the Amendment has been moved. It may be that it will cause a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth among the members of the Lord's Day Observance Society, of which the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence is such a distinguished supporter and ornament.

Photo of Mr Gordon Macdonald Mr Gordon Macdonald , Ince

There are others as well as the right hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

Yes, including Members on my own side of the House, and I very much regret that they do support the Lord's Day Observance Society which. I think, represents a shortsighted and narrow view. I welcome this Amendment, although it may cause distress both to those hon. Friends of mine and to the right hon. Gentleman opposite. I think it well that the families of Hoxton should be allowed to have their cockles and whelks at Sunday tea.

2.38 p.m.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension and that what he is referring to is the absence from Schedules 1 and 2 of these particular comestibles. However, I welcome the Amendment and accept it with some etymological doubts. I find it hard to believe that in our English language, which is so accurate, particularly in Acts of Parliament, all these crustaceans, molluscs and gastropods may be simultaneously included within the single word "shell-fish." It seems doubtful, though I accept the assurance or my hon. Friend that shell-fish includes oysters and also lobsters. I have already made myself aware of the fact that eels and fish are the same thing. I hop: the House will accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.