Mrs. Partington again!

John Bull for June 10 published an article headed “Is the Small Trader Doomed ? The Multi-Shop Octopus.”

Once again the wild, despairing cry of the small shopkeeper is heard deploring the passing of his kind. After describing the methods by which the great firms oust the “little men,” the position of the combine’s employees is summed up thus :

“The lot of the employees is very unsatisfactory, the majority of these companies refusing to employ a man who has been in the service of their rivals, no matter why he left his previous situation. They are discharged on the merest pretext, as the continuous advertising amply proves, and their wages compare unfavourably with those paid by the small trader. One of the managers recently remarked that he did not think it advisable to keep a man more than 6 months as by that time they had exhausted all his ideas. Pick his brain and throw him on the human scrap heap !”

“The remedy” for the small trader is, John Bull tells us, “for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to impose a tax on multi-shop trading, as is done in Germany.”

Is this a case for Bottomley’s “Business Government” or—the Lunacy Commissioners ?


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