Turkeys (Price Control, Prosecutions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1945.

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Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South 12:00 am, 17th January 1945

asked the Minister of Food the number of successful prosecutions effected against those guilty of disposing of turkeys above the controlled price.

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

During 1944, twenty-two.

Photo of Hon. John Stourton Hon. John Stourton , Salford South

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the number of prosecutions is entirely unsatisfactory in view of the fact that tens of thousands of turkeys were sold above the controlled price in East Anglia? Is he further aware that the surest way to promote black market activities is for a Government Department to issue orders it is apparently incapable of enforcing?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

The number of black market offences have been very greatly exaggerated. We have not got a very large black market in this country. It is very difficult in these sales, in which there are two parties—a willing buyer wishing to pay an increased price and a willing seller hoping to get it—to get the information on which to prosecute. Wherever we can get the information, however, we are determined to prosecute, and we do so.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is not this black market business only an increase in the normal capitalist robbery which is going on?