HC Deb 23 June 1942 vol 380 cc1787-8
7. Mr. Bowles

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any observations regarding the token summer sales announced by several West End stores; and whether these sales accord with the policy of his Department?

Mr. Dalton

I strongly deprecate the holding of sales, whether token or otherwise, at the present time, and so, I am glad to say, do responsible persons in the trade. Such sales encourage the public to buy, irrespective of actual needs, and so discourage the practice of forethought and economy.

Mr. Shinwell

If my right hon. Friend quite properly deprecates the holding of these sales, why does he not put a stop to them? Is hot that the obvious thing to do, or do the Government deprecate certain conduct and still allow it to go on?

Mr. Dalton

If they reached an important magnitude, I should consider whether I should not take steps to put a stop to them. At the present moment the statement I have made to-day, together with certain representations that have been passing between me and the trade, will prevent their reaching any important size. I shall watch that.