Oral Answers to Questions — Shops Act

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore 12:00 am, 31st July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to introduce legislation to amend the Shops Act in the light of the recommendations of the Gowers Committee; and whether he is now in a position to consult with the various interests in the trade, including the trade union concerned.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I am not at present in a position to say when legislation on shop hours will be practicable. I will of course consult the interests concerned when the time is ripe.

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that most of our shops legislation is 40 years out of date and that even the more modern legislation is a quarter of a century out of date? Can he say when he hopes to tackle this matter?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I am considering the matter, but at the moment it is extremely difficult to fit in legislaion.

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth and East Perthshire

Will my right hon. and learned Friend ensure that the people who seem to be least consulted —the general shopping public—are consulted this time?

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to introduce a winter closing order as provided for in the Shops Act, 1950.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I have arranged to discuss next week with the interested organisations the question whether the further continuation of the emergency provisions incorporated in the Shops Act relating to the winter closing hours of shops can he justified.

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the Order was introduced on 9th July last year and that there is considerable concern among the workers in the trade whether the main attack on wages perpetrated by the Government a fortnight ago is now to be followed by a gross attack on their working conditions? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that, until such time as amending legislation on the lines of the Gowers Report is introduced, to abolish the Order would be a gross injustice to shop workers?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

Again, I will not deal with controversial premises; but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would agree, and that the whole House would approve, that the first thing to do before making up one's mind on the subject is to consult the trade unions and the employers to get their views. That I am going to do next week.