HC Deb 24 May 1962 vol 660 cc643-4
1. Commander Kerans

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider introducing legislation to abolish August Bank Holiday, and add the day either to the statutory holiday period or let it be taken as convenient to employer and employee, bearing in mind the vital necessity to reduce motor traffic at holiday periods.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Anthony Barber)

This is only one of the possibilities thrown up by the wider examination of the problem of extending the summer holiday season. Her Majesty's Government are not yet in a position to make any statement on this.

Commander Kerans

Is not the August Bank Holiday really nonsense in this modern age, bearing in mind that schools have already packed up and the holiday season is on? The real point is, do we want this vast number of cars on the road on August Bank Holiday, a number which increases year by year, especially if it is fine weather? Lubbock's day goes back to 1871 when August Bank Holiday was initiated, and is it not high time, with due respect to the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), that it went?

Mr. Barber

These may or may not be relevant considerations, but I think that the House will agree that it would be best to consider them in the context of the wider examination which is at present going on.

Mr. Farr

Can the Minister say whether he has been in consultation with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in this connection, and, further, whether he has received a document on this very subject from the Leicestershire County Chamber of Commerce?

Mr. Barber

With regard to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I have no recollection of receiving such a document. As far as the general examination is concerned, this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. I should have thought it almost certain that those considering this matter will have had advice from the Ministry of Transport.