asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has any further information and has taken any action respecting the usage of car-parks at dog-racing tracks and other places for black market operations; and whether he will publish the number of prosecutions and convictions, respectively, in connection with black market operations?
I have no further information at present to give my hon. Friend regarding the usage of car-parks for black market operations. The total number of prosecutions instituted by the Ministry of Food since the outbreak of war up to 31st December last was 39,927. It would be quite impracticable to distinguish in this large total the number of offences which might be described as black market operations.
Major Lloyd George:
My hon. Friend must not assume that all of the 39,000 prosecutions to which I have referred are black market prosecutions, as the majority are minor offences, some due to inexperience and shortness of staff. It would be most unfair to the traders of this country to assume that all the prosecutions we have to undertake refer to the black market.