HC Deb 23 October 1941 vol 374 cc1883-4
17. Captain Plugge

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, although the closing hours of shops are being made considerably earlier as a result of the black-out, there is now an increasing tendency in towns for shops to close between 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.; and whether, as this arrangement makes it impossible for those who are doing an ordinary day's work to buy food for their households, he will take action in the matter?

Mr. H. Morrison

This tendency has not previously been brought specifically to my notice. It is essentially a difficulty for local solution, and I shall be glad to investigate it in consultation with the Minister of Labour and National Service and Minister of Food if my hon. Friend will let me know the place or places where the difficulty is arising.

Mr. Rhys Davies

In considering this question of closing shops at midday, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that even shop assistants require lunch?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, I will, but I think the shop assistants themselves will be with me when I say that the convenience of the public and the feeding of munition workers must be considered.

Mr. Davies

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Minister of Labour has denuded the shops of staffs?

Sir Francis Fremantle

Does the hon. Gentleman remember that the House of Commons requires meals, but it still goes on?