HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc813-4
32. Mr. Leslie

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many applications have been received for coupon floats in connection with the licensing of nonfood shops; how many applications for building licences since the beginning of this year; and how many applications in each case were successful.

Mr. Belcher

It is no longer necessary to obtain a licence to open a non-food shop, but ex-traders, war-disabled persons and ex-Servicemen with previous experience are given special assistance in respect of coupon floats and building licences. Between 1st January and 30th April, 1946, 5,607 applications for coupon floats and building licences were received. Separate figures are not available. 2,085 applicants were granted coupon floats, and in 420 cases the Board of Trade have sponsored applications for building licences to the licensing authority.

Mr. Leslie

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that all the committees concerned with the granting of licences operate so that prewar traders, especially those who have served in the Forces, get a square deal?

Mr. Belcher

We are extremely anxious to avoid any injustice to prewar traders, especially those serving in His Majesty's Forces