HC Deb 09 December 1926 vol 200 cc2260-1
10. Mr. TAYLOR

asked the Home Secretary if he proposes to suspend the General Closing Order under the Shops Act., 1920, in the week prior to Christmas; and whether the statutory half-holiday, under the Shops Acts, 1912 and 1913, will be suspended in both of the two weeks prior to Christmas?


My right hon. Friend made an Order last. month suspending the operation of the General Early Closing Order from Friday, 17th December, to Friday, 24th December, both days inclusive. There is no power to suspend the obligation on shopkeepers to close for the weekly half-holiday in accordance with the Shops Act, 1912, but, under Section 4 (5) of that Act, if a shopkeeper closes for the whole of a Bank Holiday, and the Bank Holiday does not fall on the day fixed for the weekly half-holiday, he can remain open either on the half-holiday before or on the half-holiday after the Bank Holiday. The effect this year, when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, is that a shopkeeper who closes for his weekly half-holiday on any day other than Saturday need not give a half-holiday in Christmas week if he closes for the whole of Christmas Day. He must, however, close for a half-holiday in the week ending 18th December.


Have the Home Office drawn the attention of local authorities to these matters? Have they issued a Circular?


I think I ought to have notice of that question, but the reply which I have given makes the matter perfectly clear.