HC Deb 02 July 1947 vol 439 cc1299-300
23. Mr. Marlowe

asked the PostmasterGeneral under what authority power is given to Post Office clerks to demand the production of an identity card; and under what authority they can refuse payment out to a depositor of the Post Office Savings Bank whose account is in credit, by reason only of a failure to produce an identity card.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

The authority is contained in the Defence Regulations, as extended by the Emergency Laws (Transitional Provisions) Act, 1946. Defence Regulation No. 60cc (Statutory Rules and Orders No. 1145 of 1943) gives power to an officer of the Post Office not only to require the production of an identity card in connection with the payment of money out of a Post Office Savings Bank account, but also to refuse to proceed with the transaction until the identity card is produced.

Mr. Marlowe

As a check on fraud, is not this system a failure, in view of the fact that there was less fraud before the war when there were no identity cards, and is not the inference that controls breed evasion of controls and dishonesty increases under Socialism?

Mr. Paling

No, I would not accept the first line of argument. As to the suggestion about dishonesty under Socialism, I will leave that until some future time. The production of an identity card may not be the best protection, but it has been some protection in the Post Office against these frauds.