Shops (Closing Hours).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 23rd October 1941.

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Photo of Captain Leonard Plugge Captain Leonard Plugge , Rochester Chatham

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, although the closing hours of shops are being made considerably earlier as a result of the black-out, there is now an increasing tendency in towns for shops to close between 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.; and whether, as this arrangement makes it impossible for those who are doing an ordinary day's work to buy food for their households, he will take action in the matter?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

This tendency has not previously been brought specifically to my notice. It is essentially a difficulty for local solution, and I shall be glad to investigate it in consultation with the Minister of Labour and National Service and Minister of Food if my hon. Friend will let me know the place or places where the difficulty is arising.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

In considering this question of closing shops at midday, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that even shop assistants require lunch?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Yes, I will, but I think the shop assistants themselves will be with me when I say that the convenience of the public and the feeding of munition workers must be considered.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Minister of Labour has denuded the shops of staffs?

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Does the hon. Gentleman remember that the House of Commons requires meals, but it still goes on?