Retail Traders

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th September 1944.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East 12:00 am, 26th September 1944

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of small traders now on his register who have closed down owing to the war; what approximate proportion this forms of the total; and whether arrangements will be made for the co-ordination of the granting of licences and the allocation of supplies after the war.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Just over 14,000 names are now on the register, but there is no record of the total number of shops closed during the war. If the need should arise, I shall be glad to consider arrangements such as my hon. Friend suggests.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Will the Minister consider granting compensation in those cases?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is some feeling among returning soldiers about the restrictions against being allowed to open up businesses which they had to close down when they went to the war?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

There is a later Question on that subject.

Mr. De La Bére:

Is the Minister not aware that these people require safeguarding against the co-operatives?

Mr. Harry Thorneyeroft:

What will be the position of small traders who closed down their businesses and went into the Forces and who failed, from various causes, to register, when they return and wish to re-open their businesses?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

They should register as. soon as possible. I have taken all the means open to me to promote publicity on this matter, and if the hon. Member can help me I shall be very grateful.