§ 18. Mrs. Braddock
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that all members of banks staff associations are asking for the closing of banks on Saturday, 27th December, in view of the fact that the Christmas holiday is Thursday and Friday this year; and if he will give sympathetic consideration to this request that he should recommend that that day be proclaimed a bank holiday.
I would refer the hon. Member to the answers which I gave to the hon. Members for Nottingham, North (Mr. J. Harrison) and Crosby (Mr. Page) on 15th July.
§ Mrs. Braddock
I have read that reply. Is the Minister aware that he does not appear to understand what the situation is? This is not a question of a bank holiday but of the bank staffs asking for the banks to be closed on Saturday. Is he aware that bank employees feel that because the shops will be closed on Christmas Day and on the Friday there will be very little to do and that money will be wasted if the staffs have to work on the Saturday?
As a proclamation is necessary for the banks to be closed, will he reconsider the matter to see whether it is not possible to make some arrangement for the banks only to be closed on the Saturday, since the employees feel that even if they do go to the banks there will not be any work for them to do?
The only thing I can consider is whether there is a case for a full bank holiday. I believe that it would not be in the general interest to have a bank holiday on the Saturday. Any other arrangement would be a matter for consideration between the banks and their staffs.