HC Deb 28 July 1915 vol 73 cc2253-4
64. Mr. CLYNES

asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that power to imprisonment for offences under the Act is being claimed for the Munitions Tribunals established under the Act; whether such power is expressly conferred by the Act; and, if so, will he refer to the part of the Act which empowers the imposition of any penalty other than a fine to be paid, if needful, by deductions from wages?


Offences under the Munitions of War Act are of two classes. The minor offences, such as breach of rules in a controlled establishment or breach of undertaking by a munitions volunteer, are tried before a local Munitions Tribunal, and are punishable only by a fine not exceeding £3 without power of imprisonment in default of payment. The more serious offences—which include strikes and lock-outs, breaches of an award, as well as false statements and employers' offences generally—can be tried only by a general Munitions Tribunal. Fines imposed for offences of the latter classes are recoverable by the ordinary process, involving imprisonment in default of payment. This is the clear intention and effect of Sections 15 (3) and 15 (4) of the Munitions of War Act which exclude imprisonment in default of payment only in the case of minor offences.