HC Deb 24 May 1916 vol 82 cc2109-10

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received any communication from the Shop Assistants Union asking him to take steps to protect shop workers against any extension of their working hours as a result of the Summer Time Act; and whether steps can be taken in districts and towns where no general closing order has been promoted under the Shop Act to insist that, where the shops open an hour earlier than formerly, they will also close an hour earlier, so that the workers, as well as others, may have the full advantage of the new arrangement?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

I have received a letter on the subject from the National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants. It would certainly be most unfortunate, and contrary to the wishes of Parliament, if shop assistants were prevented by an increase in their working hours from taking ad- vantage of the benefits of the Act; but I have at present no reason to anticipate this, and experience will, I believe, show that the shopkeepers generally are acting in full accordance with the spirit of the Act. Meanwhile, it would be premature to consider the question of taking any special steps in the direction suggested.