HC Deb 07 July 1942 vol 381 cc623-4
15. Lieutenant Butcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, since the outbreak of war, the number of retail outlets have been increased by the action of the multiple variety chain stores in selling patent medicines and goods in higher price ranges than those sold by them before the war; and whether, as a preliminary to a reduction in the number of points of distribution, he will require such firms to confine themselves to their pre-war activities?

Mr. Dalton

Since the outbreak of war most classes of traders have varied the type of goods they sell to suit changing circumstances. Under the Location of Retail Businesses Order, made in November last, a trader must obtain a licence before selling in his shop any categories of goods not sold by him in a previous period. I do not think it would be in the public interest to adopt my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion.

Lieutenant Butcher

While I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, is he aware that the Location of Retail Businesses Order is like locking the door after the pony has bolted?

Mr. De la Bère

Nothing further was ever intended.