HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1093-5
17. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, as he is unable to grant permission for the lighting of shop windows between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for the whole week preceding Christmas, he will give permission for their lighting for 20th, 21st and 22nd December.

Mr. Shinwell

I am sorry I cannot meet the desire of the hon. Member, as the fuel position will not allow of this relaxation.

Mr. De La Bère

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we hope he will do something to lighten our darkness? Cannot he give us a ray of sunshine in 1946?

Mr. Shinwell

If the hon. Gentleman is asking me to lighten his darkness, that is another matter.

Mr. De La Bère

Could we not have a ray of sunshine in 1946 to lighten our mental disequilibrium?

19. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is satisfied that the Regulations governing the lighting of shop windows are equitably administered throughout the country.

Mr. Shinwell

Subject to staffing and other difficulties, every effort is being made to secure equitable and considerable administration of these restrictions,

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

How are the people in London—I am leaving entirely out of account the people in country districts— to see what is in the shops this Christmas time?

Mr. Shinwell

There is ample lighting in the shops although not in the shop windows— but then there is not much in the shop windows.

22. Mr. Ward

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will publish full details of the present Regulations regarding lighting in shop windows, in order that shopkeepers do not unknowingly infringe these Regulations and inadvertently lay themselves open to prosecution.

Mr. Shinwell

The Regulations regarding lighting in shop windows have been published, and are contained in the Control of Fuel (No. 3) Order (Statutory Rules and Orders, 1942, No. 2510), and in particular Article 5 thereof, which restricts the use of lighting fittings and appliances which consume fuel for the purpose of advertisement in the course of any business.

Colonel Erroll

Where may the ordinary, simple trader see these Regulations?

Mr. Shinwell

They can be obtained from fuel overseers and local authorities, and at the worst they can be obtained from my Department.

23. Mr. Ward

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that an inspector from the Midland area has recently been visiting shopkeepers in Worcester and ordering them, in a manner which has given offence, to extinguish the lights in their shop windows; and whether he will take steps to ensure that whenever it is necessary to draw the attention of shopkeepers to the lighting Regulations it is done in a civil and courteous manner.

Mr. Shinwell

I have made inquiries but I am unable to find any confirmation of this complaint, in so far as my inspectors are concerned. On the contrary, although it was found necessary to issue warning letters in respect of shop window lighting at premises in High Street and Foregate Street, Worcester, one firm expressed appreciation of the considerate way in which the matter had been handled.

Mr. Ward

Is the Minister aware that this inspector told a woman shopkeeper that anything she said would be taken down in evidence against her? Does he not consider that that was unnecessarily offensive?

Mr. Shinwell

I would like to have particulars of the case referred to. The language the hon. Member uses is, in my experience, common form.

Mr. De la Bère

Is not the Minister aware that it is offensive language?

Mr. Maxton

Will the Minister arrange for that letter of appreciation to be put in the Library?

Mr. Shinwell

I am aware that letters of appreciation are the chief literary fare of the hon. Member.

Mr. Tolley

Is the Minister aware that he gave me the same answer to a Question which I put down to him some time ago?

Mr. Shinwell

There is nothing wrong with the same answer, if it is a good one.