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Wednesday, 17 December 1941

Mr BECK (Denison) .- I have no desire to add to the difficulties of the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) in connexion with Friday night and Saturday morning shopping. I know that the honorable gentleman has sound reasons for the action that he has taken. One of these, I understand, is the desire to give people some appreciation of the need for self-denial in these perilous times. I agree with that objective. In Hobart, however, we have no Saturday morning shopping, and now we shall have no shopping at night. All of our shopping is done in a five-day week. The decision, in this regard, cannot be varied by the Commonwealth Government. An alteration of the State law would be required to permit shops to open on Saturday morning. The Labour Government, which has just fought an election campaign on this issue and others, holds the view that Saturday morning shopping should not be permitted. Another difficulty arises in this connexion. In most of the mainland States hotels close at 6 p.m., but in Tasmania they remain open until 10 p.m., and with this I agree. It looks, therefore, as if people are to be forced out of the shops into hotels. In all the circumstances I ask the Prime Minister to give some further consideration to the desirability of treating this subject on the reasonable basis that. I suggested this afternoon.

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