§ (1) Where several trades or businesses are carried on in the same shop, and any of those trades or businesses is of such a nature that if it were the only trade or business carried on in the shop the shop, would be exempt from any provision of this Act or from a closing order, the 1827 exemption shall apply to the shop so far as the carrying on of that trade or business is concerned, subject, however, to such conditions as may be imposed by regulations made by the Secretary of State or by the closing order.
§ (2) Where several trades or businesses are carried on in the same shop, no such trade or business shall, for the purpose of determining the majority under this Part of this Act, be considered as carried on in the shop unless the occupier of the shop satisfies the local authority that such trade or business forms a substantial part of the business carried on in the shop.
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (1), leave out the words "any provision of this Act or from a closing order," and insert instead thereof the words "the obligation to be closed on the weekly half-holiday."
§ Leave out the words "imposed by regulations made by the Secretary of State or by the closing order," and insert instead thereof the word "prescribed."—[Mr. Churchill.]
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the word "no" ["carried on the same shop no such trade or business shall"].
Certain small shopkeepers feel they are likely to suffer at the hands of the local authority in determining what their particular trade is. I then proposed to leave out all the rest of the Section and insert the Amendment on the Paper. As the Clause stands, if there is a dispute between the shopkeeper and the local authority the burden is put upon the owner of the shop to prove to the local authority that the particular trade he carries on in one shop, if he has more than one, is his principal business. The object of the Amendment is to put the onus on the local authorities of proving the position, and the shopkeeper is to be allowed to state which is his principal business, and if the local authority has no suspicion that the shopkeeper is deceiving them or doing anything shady he is to be allowed to do this. If they think it is not correct the local authority has the power of challenging the matter. In the Clause the shopkeeper is compelled to make a statement proving certain things, and the Amendment is to the effect that that statement, unless it is suspected, shall be allowed to go unchallenged. At the end of the Amendment there is an option to which I do not attach very much importance, because I believe it is already provided for. There was a fear on the 1828 part of shopkeepers that the various provisions did not state that every shop, big and little, would have a vote. I put that in to safeguard my petition. I believe it is provided for, but I should like the right hon. Gentleman's assurance on the point as to whether or not every shop, big and little, has the right to vote in the case of a closing order.
§ Mr. C. DUNCAN
I beg to second the Amendment. I am not quite sure whether this Amendment is necessary at all, but I would like to have an opportunity of considering the point between this and the stages in the House of Lords.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Further Amendments made: In Subsection (2), leave out the words "the majority under this Part of this Act," and insert instead thereof the words "a majority under the Shops Regulation Acts, 1892 to 1911."