While I am in full sympathy with the view that rigorous action should be taken against these offenders, whose offence like many other offences, are detrimental to the war effort, I cannot agree that it would be right to use Regulation 18B for this purpose. These offences can be dealt with by the courts, and provision has recently been made for an increase of the penalties which can be imposed. The exceptional powers of Regulation 18B ought not to be used in cases which can be dealt with by criminal proceedings in the courts of law.
I can only repeat that the penalty to be imposed is a matter for the courts. The administration of the regulations and the institution of proceedings are matters for the appropriate Ministers and not for me.