HC Deb 02 November 1939 vol 352 cc2084-5
34. Captain Sir William Brass

asked the Home Secretary the total number of householders prosecuted for infringement of the lighting regulations in the Metropolitan police area for the four weeks commencing 16th September and ending 14th October, or any other more convenient four weeks?

Sir J. Anderson

I regret that figures are not available for the precise period mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend, but during the month of September proceedings were taken against 58 householders for contraventions of the Lighting Order.

Sir W. Brass

Might I ask my right hon. Friend to make quite certain that in the country as a whole these prosecutions will not be turned into persecutions? In Oxford last week there were no fewer than 40 trifling prosecutions on this score in an evacuation area.

Sir J. Anderson

The question referred to the metropolitan area. Instructions given by the Commissioner of Police are that the first step is to get the light obscured and to give a warning to the person concerned. Proceedings are taken only in serious cases, where there is obvious negligence.

Sir W. Brass

Will my right hon. Friend make representations in this sense to Oxford?

Mr. Buchanan

Will he communicate with Glasgow as well? The sheriffs are simply preposterous in their treatment of the people.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

And will he make representations to the Admiralty, who are among the worst offenders?