HC Deb 19 October 1939 vol 352 c1037
66. Mr. Brooke

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the harm which will be suffered by law-abiding shopkeepers who are compelled to close at 6 p.m. unless shops of the kinds permitted to remain open after 6 p.m. for their special trade are effectively deterred from the illegal sale of other goods after the general closing hour; and whether he will announce the intention of the Government to prevent unfair competition of this sort under cover of the black-out?

Sir J. Anderson

I am in sympathy with the view of my hon. Friend. The suggestion frequently made, that it is unreasonable when a shop is open for the sale of certain articles to prohibit the shopkeeper from selling other articles, ignores the fact that these restrictions have been imposed in the interests of the shopkeepers themselves and that contraventions of these restrictions are unfair to the general body of traders. The enforcement of the Shops Acts is a matter for the local authorities, and I have no doubt they will do their best, by enforcing the law, to protect the general interests of shopkeepers despite the special difficulty to which my hon. Friend refers.