asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that in Bristol shops in the boot and drapery trades have been allowed to be open in contravention of a closing order, and that no action is being taken to secure compliance with the order; and whether he can take any steps to secure such compliance?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I have received a complaint to this effect, and I find, on inquiry, that it appears to refer to the fact that on the day before the Coronation shops were kept open beyond the hours fixed by the closing order. The order, while allowing an exemption for the days preceding the ordinary bank holidays, did not make any provision for the case of special holidays, and in strictness therefore a breach of the order was committed; but the local authority did not consider it necessary, in the circumstances, when the matter was brought to their notice, to take any proceedings. It is a matter within the discretion of the authority whether or not to take proceedings in any particular case, and I have no power to interfere. I may add that I have no reason for supposing that the orders are not in general adequately enforced in Bristol.