HC Deb 19 December 1945 vol 417 cc1317-8
13. Lieutenant William Shepherd

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the practice which is growing up at demobilisation centres of keeping the better variety of civilian clothing under the counter and producing it when a financial reward is considered likely; and what steps he is taking to discourage this malpractice.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Strachey)

I have not been able to establish any cases of this kind at the Royal Air Force civilian clothing centres. We should, of course, be glad to examine any particular evidence that is produced. Strict instructions are in force against any such practice.

Lieutenant Shepherd

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this practice is quite widespread, and will he draw the attention of his right hon. Friends at the Admiralty and the War Office to this matter?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, but we should like individual examples on which to act.

Mr. Barton

Will my hon. Friend say whether he has received my letter of 13th December, giving specific evidence of this practice, and if so, what steps he has taken?

Mr. Strachey

That is under discussion now.

Mr. Gallacher

Could not the Minister quite easily overcome this by removing the counter?

Wing-Commander Millington

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when I recently passed through a demobilisation centre I did everything I could, short of acting as an agent provocateur, to find something under the counter, and was signally unsuccessful?