Mr. Graham White:
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what function is to be performed by the Department under Mr. George Yandell, which it is not now the duty of the police force to discharge;
(2) whether the appointment of Mr. George Yandell, as Chief Enforcement Officer of the Board of Trade, is permanent or temporary; how many assistants will be at his disposal; and how many of them will be permanent?
Mr. Yandell has been appointed to investigate cases arising from infringements of the Limitation of Supplies, Rationing and other Orders administered by the Board of Trade which appear likely to lead to criminal proceedings and to require co-operation between the police and the Board's staff. The Board of Trade have hitherto found themselves handicapped by the absence of expert police guidance within the Department in the earliest stages of investigations, and it is hoped that the appointment of an ex-police officer of Mr. Yandell's ability and experience will remedy this. He will not deal with cases which should be handled by the police alone. Mr. Yandell's appointment is a temporary one. He has no special assistants, but will co- operate with the present staff engaged in enforcement of the Orders and in frustrating black market operations.
Will my right hon. Friend keep a careful eye on the publicity from this Department, especially on any interviews which may be given, lest these officers, in their enthusiasm for their duty, should convey the erroneous impression that in this country there is a large number of crooks and traitors?
I will certainly watch that, but I think the House desires that I should stiffen up to the greatest possible extent the operations designed to check black market business. It was with that in mind that this appointment was made.
We can always improve even a moderately good arrangement, and I think the House will expect me to take whatever steps are open to me to stamp out this black market business.