Oral Answers to Questions — Anti-Social Offences (Penalties).

– in the House of Commons on 19th February 1942.

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Mr. Bower:

asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider taking powers to make those people who run gambling dens, sell bootleg liquor or otherwise endeavour to make an illegitimate profit out of the national emergency liable to the death penalty or imprisonment for life?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

While I share my hon. Friend's wish that it were possible to put an end to these anti-social offences at a stroke by some dramatic and comprehensive measure, experience shows that it is only possible to attain the ends which both he and I desire by making such specific amendments of the laws relating to specific offences as will enable convictions to be obtained and stern penalties to be imposed on all types of offenders who basely exploit war conditions for personal gain.

Mr. Bower:

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the remarks made by the Solicitor-General on this subject last Sunday; and does he realise that these pests and parasites are a hindrance to our war effort because of their activities, and that the Solicitor-General's view, that the present methods of dealing with them are inadequate, are shared by a large number of people?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Will the Minister suggest to the Solicitor-General that it is inappropriate for a Minister of the Crown to suggest martial methods of dealing with offences of any kind?