HC Deb 18 July 1944 vol 402 cc13-4
30. Mr. Keeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a person who makes a declaration under the Alarm Clocks Order (S.R. & O., No. 686, of 1944), that he requires an alarm clock for his work is liable to interrrogation by officers of his department; and what penalty, if any, can be imposed for a false declaration.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Dalton)

No, Sir. There is no question here either of interrogation or penalties. The purpose of inviting this declaration is to encourage the sale of clocks to those who need them most, and I hope that the public will co-operate.

Mr. Keeling

As this declaration is apparently a meaningless multiplication of formalities, will my right hon. Friend consider asking the new Select Committee to look into the matter?

Mr. Rhys Davies

What course should a Member of Parliament take to get an alarm clock?

Mr. Dalton

I am very glad to welcome the assistance of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling), either individually or in association with others, but there is, I think, nothing very much to object to in this Order. The decontrol is now operating in respect of alarm clocks. We had an elaborate system of control under which we dealt with 500,000 cases. Then we took the control off, but it was felt that some people needed clocks more than others. Most people are honest, and it was felt it would be useful that people who wanted alarm clocks should be asked to say that they required them for their work. If my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) fills up the form with his well-known honesty and clear handwriting, and says that he needs a clock for his work, he should have no difficulty in obtaining one from a shop.

Mr. Thorne

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is difficult to get a new clock, or to get an old one repaired?

Mr. Dalton

That is so.

Mr. Mothers

How many of the 500,000 clocks which my right hon. Friend arranged for people to obtain, have broken down and cannot be repaired?

Mr. Dalton

I could not say without elaborate research.