HC Deb 19 February 1942 vol 377 c1903
70. Dr. Little

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can now make any statement on the steps being taken by his Department to deal with the smuggling of foodstuffs between Northern Ireland and Eire?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir. All practicable steps are being taken to prevent the smuggling of foodstuffs from Northern Ireland into Eire. I am glad of this opportunity to issue a warning to food traders in, and doing business with, Northern Ireland, both wholesale and retail, that any action, direct or indirect, which is conducive to smuggling, e.g., the supply of abnormal quantities of foodstuffs, renders the trader concerned liable to the withdrawal of his licence on the ground that he is an unsuitable link in the chain of distribution within the meaning of the statement I made on the 6th August, in response to Questions put to me by my hon. Friends the Members for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) and East Leicester (Major Lyons).

Dr. Little

Is the Minister aware that the Bishop of Derry this week, in his Lenten letter, referred to this smuggling as having a demoralising influence on the people and that the children on both sides of the border are being kept-from school on account of it?

Mr. MacLaren

Abolish the border, then.

Major Lloyd George

I fully appreciate that it will have a demoralising affect upon both sides. Steps that we are taking now will give us a certain measure of control, and we shall, I hope, be in a much stronger position to stop it.

Mr. Davidson

Will the Minister keep in mind the parable of the loaves and fishes?

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