§ LORD AVEBURY
My Lords, I rise to move for a Return of the Closing Order which have been confirmed by the Home Office under the Shop Hours Act, and specifying those which have been for the hairdressers' trade; and of those now under consideration. I have been re quested to do so in order to show the working of the Act. So far as I have been able to ascertain the number of Closing Orders made in 1906 was 103 in 1907 29, and in 1908 41, or a total of 173. Considering that the Act is permissive, the result, if not all that might have been hoped, is satisfactory. It shows what may be done. The figures for London are, however, disappointing, mainly because instead of appointing the London County Council to administer the Act in London, as proposed in our Bill, the House of Commons inserted borough councils. The borough councils are, I doubt not, quite as disposed to assist in securing reasonable hours, but it has been found difficult to get them to agree on the same time. Still, even in London, hairdressers have been successful, which shows that if other trades were as energetic they might be equally successful. The hairdressers are anxious to know the number of Closing Orders which have been made for their trade. I believe this information would be useful, and hope there may be no objection to granting it.
§ Moved, "For a Return of the Closing Orders which have been confirmed by the Home Office under the Shop Hours Act, and specifying those which have been for the hairdressers' trade; and of those now under consideration."—(Lord Avebury.)
§ THE LORD STEWARD (Earl BEAUCHAMP)
My Lords, the Home Office will be glad to give the information for which the noble Lord asks, but they trust the noble Lord will be good enough to be content if they postpone supplying him with the information, on the ground that if a Return were made at once it would be for a broken period only. What I suggest is that the noble Lord should 14 withdraw his Motion this afternoon and that later on information should be supplied for the whole year. If the information were given for a complete period it would be more useful, especially in view of the legislation which is contemplated for next session. So far as the past months of this year are concerned, the noble Lord would be able, by investigation, to find out for himself the number of Orders which have been published, because at regular intervals in Lords' and Commons' Papers there are to be found the numbers and the names of the Orders confirmed under the Shop Hours Act; so that for the time being, at any rate, the noble Lord would be able to discover these figures for himself. I hope that, in these circumstances, the noble Lord will withdraw the Motion and allow the information to be submitted later for a complete period.
§ LORD AVEBURY
I am much obliged to my noble friend for meeting me so far. With reference to hairdressers, I do not think the returns enable one to distinguish between that and other trades, and the hairdressers were particularly anxious that the number of Orders relating to them should be given. The suggestion which the noble Earl has made is a most reasonable one, and I shall be very happy, in those circumstances, to withdraw my Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.