HC Deb 01 November 1916 vol 86 cc1724-5

asked the Home Secretary whether the sale of articles by automatic machines will be allowed after the hours at which shopkeepers are compelled to close shops for the sale of similar articles?

93. Major NEWMAN

asked the Home Secretary whether it is proposed to bring penny-in-the-slot machines that distribute cigarettes, confectionery, and scent within the scope of the recent Order for the early closing of shops; and, if so, what method will be used to bring about the desired result?


Sales by means of automatic machines in public places have been held to be outside the provisions of the Shops Act, and it is not proposed to bring them within the scope of the new Order.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman see that this will inflict great hardship on the small shopkeeper, whose business may be taken by people holding automatic machines?


The position is the same as it has been for many years past under the Shops Act; also Early Closing Orders apply to large numbers, and to a good many places—to confectioners and tobacconists. It is not, of course, practicable to apply them to automatic machines. The matter is regarded as so trivial that the trade has hitherto considered it unimportant. The Home Office have received practically no complaints.