HC Deb 03 February 1971 vol 810 cc393-4W
Mr. Fidler

asked the Chancellor of the Exhequer (1) if he is aware that, starting this year, most workers in the United States of America will have five guaranteed three-day weekends, following a decision taken by Congress two years ago; and if he will consider taking steps to fix all bank holidays, other than Christmas and Good Friday, for Mondays to establish three-day weekends on the same basis for the United Kingdom;

(2) if he will make an early announcement that Monday, 27th and Tuesday, 28th, December, 1971 be declared bank holidays, bearing in mind that Christmas Day will fall on a Saturday, which is not considered to be a working day, in order to avoid the uncertainty and chaos of Monday, 28th December, 1970;

Mr. Fidler

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will bear in mind the difficulties which arose in December, 1970, by his refusal to fix Monday, 28th December as a bank holiday, when considering the position for December, 1971, when Christmas Day will fall on a Saturday; and if, in the light of this, he will agree to declare both Monday, 27th and Tuesday, 28th December, 1971, as bank holidays.

Mr. Higgins

I will study the considerations put forward by my hon. Friend with care. However, I should point out that the Holidays Extension Act, 1875, already provides that whenever 26th December falls on a Sunday, the Monday immediately following is a bank holiday in England and Wales. Monday 27th December, 1971, will therefore be a bank holiday in England and Wales.