HC Deb 22 July 1937 vol 326 cc2396-7
33. Mr. Mander

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the conviction, at Birmingham, on 12th July, of Mr. Colledge Persche, of the National Printing Ink Company, Limited, 72–75, Turnmill Street, London, for attempted bribery and corruption of two employés of Boxfoldia, Limited, of Bournebrook, Birmingham, by the offer of 5 per cent. on all orders received, with an extra bonus at Christmas and a cheque for the summer holidays; that a fine of £15 was imposed; and whether he will consider the advisability of circularising magistrates with regard to the importance of enforcing rigorously the terms of the law with a view to stamping out the at present widespread occurrence of bribery in certain industries?

Sir S. Hoare

My attention had not previously been drawn to the case to which the hon. Member refers. I share his view that it is important to check offences of this kind and I am not aware of any reason for thinking that there is any tendency to regard them lightly. It is, however, for the court to decide in its discretion what is the penalty appropriate to the circumstances of any individual case that may come before it, and I have no authority to issue advice to magistrates as to the way in which their discretion should be exercised.

Mr. Mander

In view of the prevalence of this dishonest method of getting business in the printing and other trades, will my right hon. Friend do everything he properly can to secure the enforcement of the law?

Sir S. Hoare

I think the hon. Member's question has already called attention to this matter, and my answer shows clearly what is my view.

Mr. Thurtle

May we take it that the right hon. Gentleman is anxious to drive corruption out of the country's system?