HC Deb 30 June 1920 vol 131 cc436-7
46. Mr. JESSON

asked the Prime Minister if, seeing that the closing of shops at 7 p.m., as proposed by the Shops (Early Closing) Bill, is a matter that affects the convenience of the whole of the public, and having regard to the fact that the workers employed in such undertakings as the railways, tramways, and omnibuses, restaurants, places of amusement, newspaper offices, post offices, and many other callings, have to work after 7 or 8 p.m. for the convenience of the public (including shopkeepers and their assistants), and to prevent the dislocation of the industry of the country, he will consider the advisability of introducing a Government Bill to amend the present Early Closing Acts, so as to restrict the hours of shop assistants to 48 per week where there is no agreement between associations of employers and employees, to restrict the opening of shops to 10, 11 or 12 consecutive hours per day, shopkeepers to be allowed, in accorance with the exigencies of their trade or business, to select the hours during which they should open, subject to notices of such hours being exhibited in prominent positions in their shops, and no shop being allowed to remain open after 10 p.m., and the present weekly half-holiday to be retained?


I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to questions on the subject of shops legislation on Wednesday last. I am not able to make any further statement on the subject at the moment, but I am afraid that the plan proposed by the hon. Member would not be acceptable to the shopkeepers generally or practicable from the administrative point of view.

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