HC Deb 26 February 1942 vol 378 cc338-9
33. Sir T. Moore

asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider introducing legislation whereby the courts can inflict flogging in the case of people found guilty of dealing in the black market?

Mr. H. Morrison

I hope to find more effective methods of dealing with these offenders than a method of which experience suggests that it may be more effective in provoking controversy than in deterring offenders.

Sir T. Moore

Since neither fines nor imprisonment have tended to curb these activities, does not my right hon. Friend think that he must evolve some punishment which will hurt them very much more?

Mr. Morrison

I entirely agree that the matter must be looked into, and indeed it is already being examined by my Department and other Departments concerned. I can assure the House that I am anxious to take the most effective steps in this matter.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that flogging never achieves the object the floggers have in mind?

42. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the resolution passed by the Jewish Board of Deputies to co-operate with the Government in stamping out black market offences; and, in view of the fresh evidence of public indignation at these activities, will he take steps to increase maximum penalties and impose minimum penalties in all systematic cases coming before the courts?

Mr. H. Morrison

Although the particular resolution to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers has not yet reached me, I have prominently in mind the importance of effective measures for searching out and bringing to stern justice the offenders to whom he refers, and the subject is receiving close and urgent consideration.

Sir J. Lucas

Will the Minister say when he hopes to be able to make a statement?

Mr. Morrison

I cannot say definitely, but I will keep in touch with my hon. Friend and advise him.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that when that resolution was passed there was no unanimity, but a great deal of discussion and many abstentions, and could he not extend the 18B Regulation so as to shut up these people?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. and gallant Friend was complaining last week that I was shutting up too many people, and this week he wants me to shut up more. I am afraid I have no further information without notice.

Mr. Lipson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the lack of unanimity was due to the fact that a false impression had been created that Jews were largely responsible, and can we be assured that there was no lack of willingness on the part of all concerned to co-operate to stamp out this dreadful traffic?