HC Deb 15 May 1941 vol 371 c1252
43. Mr. De la Bère

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, arising out of the concentration of production and the hardships which are imposed on the small manufacturers, both at the present and in the future, he will consider the licensing of chain stores throughout the country for the period of hostilities and for three years afterwards, so as to ensure that no further branches of the existing chain stores are opened which may prevent the future return of small businesses which have had to be closed down as a result of the war, and as a safeguard to those businesses which though adversely affected are just managing to carry on throughout the period of hostilities?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Captain Waterhouse)

I will bring my hon. Friend's suggestion to the notice of the Committee on Retail Trade, the appointment of which was announced by my right hon. Friend on 13th May.

Mr. De la Bère

Does my hon. and gallant Friend fully appreciate the importance of the little man and the little woman and the business they conduct? Is he not aware that they are the backbone of the country and that no Government can hope to go on without their support?

Captain Waterhouse

Yes, Sir.