HC Deb 14 December 1922 vol 159 cc3136-7
51. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the inconvenience and loss which is being occasioned to shopkeepers in various districts in London, who have to pay heavy rates, taxes, and rent, in respect of their premises, by reason of street traders, who pay none of these charges, vending similar goods from barrows in the street immediately in front of or adjacent to the premises of shopkeepers selling similar articles; whether the promised Bill for the regulation of street trading will be introduced early next Session; and whether he will see that the granting of licences to street traders is placed under the control of the borough or district councils throughout the country, who have knowledge of the trading conditions and requirements in their areas not possessed by the police?

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

I have been asked to reply to this question. With regard to the introduction of the Bill, I would refer to the reply I gave on the 12th instant. With regard to the remainder of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the passages on pages 8 and 9 of the Report of the Street Trading Committee and their recommendation on page 14.


Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the suggestion in my question, that the police are not familiar with the requirements of these individual neighbourhoods, as the men often come from long distances into the various boroughs of London?

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the police have had control of these men for 100 years, and that a very large number of shopkeepers welcome the presence of these men as bringing large crowds to their neighbourhood; and whether any legislation such as suggested will not be strenuously opposed in this House?


Various considerations have been brought to my notice through the Report to which I have referred my hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison). He may rest assured that I will consider, in the light of that Report, the points which have been made.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

Does the right hon. Gentleman know that the Departmental Committee, set up by the Home Office, did not call evidence from the street traders themselves and that, therefore, this is a very unfair Report?


Is it not a fact that many of these so-called street traders are not bonâ fide street traders at all?


The matter cannot now be debated.