Enforcement Methods

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons on 11th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many enforcement officers of his Department have been found guilty of disobeying their instructions to avoid provocation; and what action has been taken against them?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

None, Sir, apart from one borderline case, on which my right hon. Friend decided, after a full investigation, that no disciplinary action was called for.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Have inquiries been made by the Department into the very serious allegations against enforcement officers of this Department made in an article which appeared in the "Spectator," in regard to an incident in Devonshire?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

Yes, Sir; but careful search through all cases brought by the Department in and around Devonshire has revealed no evidence confirming the alleged incident. My hon. Friend the Member for West Leicester (Mr. H. Nicolson), who wrote the article, has explained to me that he accepts no responsibility for the authenticity of the report of this incident. He quoted it in his article as it had been repeated to him only as an example of an incredible story which he did not and does not believe.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

In view of the wide publicity given to the allegation, will the Minister take steps, in fairness to the officers of his Department, to see that the widest publicity is given to his reply, and will he ask the editor of the "Spectator" to publish in the next issue of the paper the statement which he has just made?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I hope the Answer to the Question will give the necessary publicity. I will consider the letter to the "Spectator."

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Is there no truth in a similar allegation made in connection with the City of Leicester?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

My hon. Friend the Member for West Leicester was unwilling to give me details of the location of that particular incident. We are therefore making exhaustive inquiries to try to trace it to the ground. As soon as that is done, I will communicate with my hon. and gallant Friend.