HC Deb 19 December 1944 vol 406 c1615
43. Mr. Rostron Duckworth

asked the President of the Board of Trade on what lines and with what object he is compiling a census of retail shopkeepers.

Mr. Dalton

No such census is yet being compiled, but I am discussing with a number of trade organisations the possibility of taking a census of distribution after the war.

Mr. Duckworth

In view of the acute anxiety felt by these people, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether they will be able to continue in business; and will he endeavour to prepare the census at the earliest possible time? Is it possible now to state on what lines it is proposed to take the census?

Mr. Dalton

No one need feel any concern or anxiety about this matter, because, in any case, it will not be possible to take action until matters settle down after the war, but it would be valuable to have this information, as the United States has found.