Committee Reports::Interim Report and Final Report - Shop Hours (Drapery Trades, Dublin and Districts) (Amendment) Bill, 1925::16 December, 1925::Appendix



The Merchant Drapers’ Association of Dublin, Ltd., opposes the above Bill for the following reasons:—

1. There is no demand for the Bill from the great majority of the Trade, and the Association is of the opinion that the Bill is being promoted by the Traders who seek to carry on business on Saturday nights when their competitors are closed.

2. The Merchant Drapers’ Association further protests against the proposal in the Bill that all Drapery houses shall close for the half-day on Wednesday instead of Saturday which has been the custom for many years.

The alternative day is provided for in the Shops Act, 1912, and any attempt to curtail the right of the Trader to observe the Saturday half-holiday will be strongly resisted.

3. By far the greater number of assistants are employed by the members of this Association, and any increase in their working hours which the Bill seeks to bring about will have the effect of causing grave dissatisfaction and possibly dislocation of trade throughout the City.

4. Many of the Traders now supporting the present Bill attended a Meeting of the Drapery Trade held in the Gresham Hotel on the 29th May, 1920, when the undermentioned Resolution was passed:—

“That houses closing at present at 8 p.m. (on Saturdays) shall reduce their hour of closing to 6.30 p.m. and those closing at a later hour shall close not later than 7.30 p.m. except in so far as it is otherwise provided by a Committee to be hereafter appointed, and that an application be made to the Local Authority for a closing order.”

A Meeting of the Committee was held on the same evening when the following Resolution was passed and sent to the Assistants’ Association:—

“That all members of the Association will close at 6.30 p.m. on Saturdays, with the following exceptions who will close at 7.30 p.m.:

“M. J. Cahill, Talbot Street; W. Kelly and Sons, Earl Street; Duffy and Co., Thomas Street; T. Fallon, Mary Street, and Branches; J. Brennan, Camden Street; C. Heather, Arran Quay.

“The closing hour to be extended to 7.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. on the Saturdays preceding Easter and Whit Monday. With regard to Christmas, it is proposed that the hours will be as follows:

“Saturday before Christmas where it comes within a week of Christmas Day, and the three days preceding Christmas, 8 and 9 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 9 and 10 p.m.

“The new Saturday closing hours to come into operation on Saturday, 19th June. The Assistants’ Association to co-operate in carrying a closing order and to get wages paid before Saturdays by the various contractors and factories.”

In view of the above Resolutions, which were accepted by practically every trader and observed for a considerable time, the Merchant Drapers’ Association is of opinion that the Shops Act (Drapery Trades), 1925, merely made legal an arrangement come to between the representatives of the Employers and Assistants, and prevented at the time a dislocation of Trade which would have occurred, should the Bill have failed to pass.