HC Deb 23 April 1940 vol 360 cc29-30
55. Mr. Foot

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the difficulty experienced by many persons and organisations in becoming familiar with the terms of all the orders and regulations affecting themselves and the trades or callings in which they are engaged; and whether he will bring to the attention of the Departments principally concerned the desirability, when they issue new orders or regulations, of notifying all organisations whose members are likely to be affected, and also, where practicable, of consulting with such organisations before such orders or regulations are finally brought into force?

Captain Crookshank

I think the hon. Member exaggerates the difficulty. Departments responsible for the issue of Statutory Rules and Orders already circulate particulars thereof as a general practice to the trade journals concerned, to the trade associations interested, and in many cases to individual firms. In addition, where the subject matter is of general interest arrangements are made for publicity in the general Press. Consultation with trade organisations also takes place wherever it is appropriate.

Mr. Foot

Is the Financial Secretary not aware that many organisations, particularly organisations of retail traders, find a great difficulty in keeping abreast of all the orders and regulations which affect their trade?

Captain Crookshank

We do our best to deal with the matter, as I have indicated in my reply.

Colonel Nathan

May I ask whether, in order to insure the information of the public, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will take into consideration the question of seeing that these orders and regulations are in print and available at the Stationery Office within a few days of their notification by the Government?

Captain Crookshank

I think that is the case now. There was some difficulty in the early stages of the war, but I think it has been rectified.

Sir Herbert Williams

Will my right hon. Friend also take steps to see that these orders are written in a language which ordinary people can understand?

Captain Crookshank

"Ordinary people" is a very wide term.