HC Deb 24 July 1947 vol 440 c1598
72. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that costermongers and hawkers clear the market of surplus supplies of vegetables, fish and fruit, if he will now remove all restrictions and enable them freely to trade.

Mr. Ede

If the hon. Member will let me know what restrictions he has in mind, I shall be glad to advise him to whom he should address his representations.

Sir W. Smithers

Does the Home Secretary realise that all this shortage of food and high prices are due to the fact that the gentlemen mentioned here, the hawkers and costermongers, are restricted and hampered from clearing the surplus?

Mr. Ede

I should regard that as much too sweeping a statement.

Mr. Walkden

In considering any evidence that is sent forward, will my right hon. Friend take into account that street trading in London is, generally speaking, a cesspool for smart "Alecs"? We ought to clean it up, not increase it.

Mr. Ede

That, fortunately for me is not my responsibility.