Oral Answers to Questions — Forged Clothing Coupons (Sentences).

– in the House of Commons on 21st May 1942.

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Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to a recent case involving a large-scale distribution of forged clothing coupons, for which the prime mover only received four years' imprisonment; and whether, in view of the gravity of such offences against the State, he will take the necessary steps to see that more drastic and deterrent punishment can be imposed in future for such offences?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that the determination of the penalties in particular cases rests with the courts.

Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

In view of the fact that in this case it was stated that if this had gone on, the whole rationing system of the country would have been endangered, cannot something be done to impress on reluctant judiciaries that offences against the State are rather important?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I should not like to take upon myself the task of making such a representation.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now give any information in connection with the 22 men and women charged with forging 97,000 clothing coupons; and from what printing presses the coupons emanated?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

Twelve persons were convicted. The sentences ranged from four months' imprisonment to four years' penal servitude. The printing press on which the coupons were printed belonged to Cohen, who was sentenced to four years' penal servitude.