HC Deb 17 March 1949 vol 462 cc2274-5
44. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Health what services National Registration cards render in connection with food and clothes rationing; what persons have the right to demand production of them; and in what circumstances.

Mr. Bevan

The National Registration Identity Cards provide the necessary evidence of identity in connection with the issue of food ration documents. The persons authorised to demand production of an identity card are—

  1. (a) A National Registration officer;
  2. (b) A police officer in uniform;
  3. (c) A member of the Armed Forces in uniform on duty if he has reason to suspect that the person concerned is a deserter or absentee from the Forces or an escaped prisoner of war.
When a card is asked for two days' grace is allowed in which to produce the card, in (b) and (c) at a police station, in (a) at the office of the National Registration officer making the request.

Mr. Freeman

Can my right hon. Friend also say what other departments or individuals have the right to demand the production of identity cards?

Mr. Bevan

I do not think there are any others. I think I have exhausted the list of persons who are entitled to ask for it. As the House will remember, from time to time I have relaxed the regulations in this matter in order to impose as small a burden as possible on the ordinary citizen.

Sir Henry Morris-Jones

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in certain branches of the National Health Service the production of identity cards is demanded, as in the case of the dentists?

Mr. Bevan

The hon. Member is wrong in thinking that it is for identification purposes. In the case of dentists, it is the identity number which is demanded.