HC Deb 10 December 1941 vol 376 c1523
49. Mr. Woods

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether in view of the extent to which the present shortage of supplies, both of food and goods, is being exploited by the production and sale of valueless substitutes, he will introduce legislation to increase the present maximum penalty for this offence, or take other measures to put an end to this practice?

Major Lloyd George

The manufacture of food substitutes except in accordance with the terms of a licence granted by my Department has been prohibited since 27th October, and the sale of unlicensed substitutes has been prohibited since 10th November. As regards the second part of the Question, I am glad of this opportunity of informing the House that an Order in Council has just been made which increases the maximum penalties which can be imposed by the courts for the infringement of Orders made under paragraph (1) of Regulation 55 of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939. This Order applies so far as the Ministry of Food is concerned, not merely to substitutes but to offences against Maximum Price Orders, hoarding and rationing. The Order provides that in addition to the penalties prescribed under the Defence Regulations there may be imposed an additional monetary penalty equal to three times the value of the goods. The Order in Council also empowers any competent authority to make Orders providing for the seizure and the sale of any article in respect of which an offence is believed to have been committed.