HC Deb 02 August 1944 vol 402 cc1386-7
59. Mr. A. Hopkinson

asked the Minister of Food why proceedings have not been taken against officers concerned in respect of offences against the Food Regulations at 54 Group, R.A.F., Regent's Park.

Colonel Llewellin

The papers in this case have been passed to the Air Ministry for consideration of such disciplinary action as that Department may deem appropriate.

Mr. Hopkinson

As the matter is one for the Food Ministry, the offence being against the Food Regulations, what right has the Food Ministry to transfer obligations to the Air Ministry, except—as is the case—in this instance, under an undertaking from the Air Ministry that a thorough investigation will be made and the offenders punished?

Mr. Speaker

Innuendoes are not allowed in supplementary questions.

Commander Agnew

Is it the case that, at the moment, offences have not been proved as such in court, and these are only charges?

Colonel Llewellin

That is right. They are charges, but this procedure is quite normal and it has been normal since June, 1942, in the case of the three Services, that, in certain instances, when an offence concerns a Service Department as well as being a food offence, it is dealt with by the Service Department.

Mr. Hopkinson

Are we to understand that the Minister is not convinced that an offence was committed?

Colonel Llewellin

I think it would be wrong for me to say that. Perhaps I ought not to have used the word "offence"; I ought to say "alleged offence." That is the position.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

Are we to understand that the charges are still pending, and that no decision has been arrived at whether a prosecution should be brought or not?

Colonel Llewellin

That question should be put to the Secretary of State for Air.