§ Mr. Rhys Davies
I beg to move, in page 1, line 13, to leave out "April" and to insert "May" This Amendment precedes another in my name. In page 1, line 14, to leave out "thirtieth day of September" and to insert "thirty-first day of August." If hon. Members will look at this Bill they will find that it sets out certain dates within which ice cream salesmen will be allowed to work on Sundays although now prohibited from doing so. I, with other Members of the House, sat for many weeks in Committee dealing with a Bill to close shops on Sundays. I think Members in all parts of the House were astonished to learn how many retail shops were open on Sundays. We were informed that in one London borough there were 1,100 retail shops open seven days a week. We passed that Bill and, as an Act of Parliament, it will come into operation this month. The hon. Members who have brought forward this Bill to exempt ice cream salesmen from the provisions of that Act never raised that point at all when it was going through the House, and so far as my knowledge goes this is the first time in Parliamentary history that a Bill has been produced to amend an Act of Parliament before it has actually come into operation.
762 It is a monstrous thing that after we had already, by that Act, deprived these men of three Sundays a month this Bill should be brought forward to deprive them of the remaining Sunday, and I say that we are entitled to make this protest in spite of the strictures laid upon me by the hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. A. Herbert). Let me tell the hon. Member that I worked every day in the year for three years of my young life, and I will use every method in this House or anywhere else to prevent people taking away from a workman the right to one day's leisure a week. He thinks it is democratic to allow these men to be shackled by this Bill; whether he is a democrat or not, if that is democracy I am not a democrat.
§ It being Four of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee) to be further considered upon Monday next.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 2.
§ Adjourned at One minute after Four o'Clock until Monday next, 3rd May.