HC Deb 20 January 1942 vol 377 cc184-5
16. Mr. Leslie

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Retail Trade Committee expressed the opinion that the licensing of new traders, and the granting of licences for trading in new categories of goods, are matters directly affecting the well-being of shopworkers, and consequently that the organised shop-workers should be represented on the licensing authorities; and why this recommendation has not been carried out?

Sir A. Duncan

As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, I have arranged for licences under the Location of Retail Businesses Order to be issued on behalf of the Board of Trade by the Local Price Regulation Committees. These committees are thoroughly representative bodies well suited for this task and it did not seem to me to be desirable to add to the committees for this purpose.

Mr. Leslie

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the livelihood of the workers is at stake, and that surely they ought to be represented, especially when this has been recommended by this committee?

Sir A. Duncan

The question is really one as to whether the trade union representation already on the committees is sufficiently representative to take charge of questions such as would arise in considering, not the livelihood of others who might come in, but new applications to establish shops. It does not seem to me now that it is necessary to add to the committees for that purpose.