§ 69. Mr. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions if he will state what sentences were passed upon the five contractors who knowingly attempted to supply defective material for the manufacture of munitions of war; what sentences were passel upon the contractors who knowingly falsified accounts; whether other similar prosecutions are in contemplation; and whether any or many claims made by contractors have been rejected as in excess of the amounts properly due?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Mr. James Hope)
The reply to the first part of the question is that in four of the cases, fines varying from £40 and costs to £300 were inflicted, in the fifth case the sentence was one of three years' penal servitude. I now find that in addition to the five cases mentioned there was a sixth case of supplying faulty material in which prosecution was followed with six months' imprisonment. The reply to the second part is that a prosecution was instituted in one case of falsification of accounts by the Inland Revenue and a penalty of six months' imprisonment inflicted. The other case was not prosecuted, but it is understood that full reparation was made to the Inland Revenue. So far as I am able to ascertain, no further prosecutions are in contemplation. In reply to the last part of the question, I may say that in a large organisation, such as the Ministry of Munitions, a considerable number of 880 claims are received, and the amounts of these claims are frequently in excess of the amounts as finally adjusted between the officers of the Department and the contractor.