Retailers (Concentration of Industry).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 17th February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Mr. De la Bère:

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, arising out of the Second Interim Report issued by the Retail Trade Committee of the Board of Trade, which has now been published, and the proposal whereby the committee are to tour the country to meet the retailers locally, and as the cost of this work is to be borne by the Government, he will give some particulars of the plan and give an assurance that no undue persuasion will be brought to bear on the independent retailers in the rural districts with the object of obtaining their consent to a scheme of absorption or compensation?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

The setting-up of this committee by one of my predecessors was, I believe, generally welcome, and I think that it is best to allow the committee to carry out their difficult task in the way they deem best.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the extension of this compensation idea must inevitably lead to control being in very few hands, and does he realise the danger of having control in a very few hands; and may I pay a warm tribute to his predecessor, who did so much to try and get this matter in the right perspective?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

In dealing with these retailers, the fact which we really have to face is that, unfortunately, they will, by and large, only get about 25 per cent. of the stocks to sell that they previously had, and something, I am afraid, will have to be done.

Mr. De la Bère:

But should the large interests be allowed to dominate the small?

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that the small traders are being driven out of business altogether?