Shopping Facilities.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, in cases where the local authority, the chamber of trade and the representatives of employers and workers have agreed upon a scheme that provides facilities for men and women workers to be able to shop at convenient hours to the shift working, his department has refused to permit any alteration in the shop hours; and whether, under the altered conditions of these times, he will consider modifications of this Act in order that the war effort may be aided?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

My Department has been giving close attention in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and other departments, such as the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Food, to this question of shopping facilities for war workers; and the experience hitherto acquired has shown that shopping difficulties can best be met by other arrangements than the extension of shop hours in the evening when women are often too tired to use such facilities. The policy is not to refuse to consider any question of adjusting shop hours, but in the first instance to consider whether local difficulties cannot be more effectively met by other methods, including arrangements for women employed in munition work to have reasonable time off for shopping at convenient hours.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the case of Luton where everybody agrees that the Home Office refused to agree?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I asked my hon. Friend for the area which he had in mind, but he preferred not to tell me. Now he has mentioned it I will look into it.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

I beg pardon, but I was never asked.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

My information was that my hon. Friend was asked, but if that is not the case I am sorry.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

When my right hon. Friend is requested to look into the shopping difficulties of the workpeople, will he see that he does not impose onerous duties on shop workers?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

That is one of the factors to be kept in mind.