HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2070-1
24. Mr. Thorneycroft

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give favourable consideration to the question of continuing in the post-war period the Location of Retail Business Order, 1941–1942?

Mr. Dalton

As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) on 8th June, I have invited the views of the principal organisations concerned regarding this matter.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the object of putting this Question is to protect the tens of thousands of men and women who have been ordered into the Services and to essential work who formerly kept one-man businesses, for it is very necessary that their interests should be protected, particularly during the period of demobilisation?

Mr. Dalton

Their interests are the better protected if they have taken the precaution of joining some organisation. Unorganised people are difficult to protect. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because they are not organised. [Interruption.] I do not see why my hon. Friends should be so concerned. The National Chamber of Trade has several distinguished vice-presidents on these benches, and that is one of the organisations I am consulting. Small shopkeepers would do well to join that organisation, and the hairdressers, whom my hon. Friend is looking after, would do well to join their association, which is coming to my Department on a deputation on 4th August.