asked the President of the Local Government Board whether Circular R. 237, dealing with the maintenance of the businesses of men with the forces, was drawn up after consultation with proprietors of one-man businesses; and how it is proposed that traders should arrange amongst themselves how to carry on their businesses during their absence without sacrificing their goodwill and revealing to their competitors business secrets?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The circular was drawn up in consultation with gentlemen who are assisting the Local Government Board in connection with schemes of co-operation, and is based upon the experience acquired in actual cases where schemes have been successfully initiated. The general views of traders have been ascertained at numerous deputations. The arrangements suggested are intended to mitigate as far as possible hardship to men who are required to join the Colours. No doubt they are open to the criticism that they involve some risk of revelation of trade secrets, but these risks are not comparable to the hardship which would be entailed by the closing of businesses, which the schemes are designed to avoid. The loss of goodwill is clearly greater if a business has to be closed than if it can be, in whole or in part, maintained.