Check Trading

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons on 8th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I am anxious to be perfectly frank with the House about this matter. It is a difficult question. There has been considerable agitation about it, instigated wholly by the check traders. There are a large number of other forms of credit trading available to persons of small means—there are the credit given by retail shops, direct credit traders who themselves deliver goods through travellers to the purchasers, which the check traders do not, clothing clubs of many kinds run by shops and co-operative societies, and mail order and other agencies. All these have accepted my Order and accepted the new situation under which all credit charges, all organiser's commissions, and the like, must be included within the margins allowed in the Order. I could only agree to make a special concession to check traders if it could be shown on the one hand that they were performing a specially valuable social function which would otherwise not be performed, and, secondly if it were equitable between different sections of credit traders, and neither of these conditions can be satisfied.