Small Traders.

Oral Answers to Questions — Post-War Reconstruction. – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 1942.

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Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether he is giving consideration to the problem of the future livelihood of the children of the rural and independent retailers, whose livelihood is being threatened and destroyed, both as a result of the war and as the result of the unchecked development of the chain stores; and whether he will confer with the President of the Board of Trade with a view to the introduction of legislation to protect the future welfare of these people?

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

I cannot accept the implications of my hon. Friend's Question, but I can assure him that, in the preparation of plans for reconstruction after the war, the welfare of the rising generation will be a primary objective.

Mr. De la Bère:

Does my right hon. Friend realise that it is necessary to have regulated development and a settled policy, and that this kind of window dressing will never again be allowed to continue on that basis, because the middle classes and the independent retailers must have protection?

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

My hon. Friend had better await the publication of the report.

Mr. De la Bère:

I am not satisfied that enough progress is being made.