HC Deb 25 April 1917 vol 92 cc2394-5

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that various distributive firms in London Road, Liver- pool, who have hitherto been closing at 7 p.m., have decided since the 10th instant to close at 8 p.m., making an addition to the working day of one hour; and whether, having regard to the spirit and intention of the Summer Time Act, steps will be taken to urge upon all distributive establishments that there should be no increase in the working hours as a result of this change?


I have made inquiry and am informed that a few shops in this street have recently altered their closing hour from seven to eight. The change, however, appears to have been made in consequence of shortage of staff, and of the fact that other shops of a similar character, in the same street, were keeping open till eight; and not in consequence of the introduction of summer time. It would be entirely contrary to the intentions of Parliament, and against the national interest at the present time, if shop assistants were prevented by an increase of working hours from taking advantage of the benefits of the Act, and the great body of opinion in the distribution trades would, I believe, be opposed to any such practice.