HC Deb 14 May 1952 vol 500 cc1421-2
29. Mr. Eric Johnson

asked the Minister of Food how many un-uniformed officials are employed by his Department as inspectors, enforcement officers or in any other capacity which allows them to enter private premises for investigation without a specific warrant; and how many were employed in a similar capacity 12 months ago.

Major Lloyd George

None of my officers is entitled to enter private premises without a specific warrant.

Mr. Johnson

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that reports frequently appear in the Press to the effect that such officials are entering private premises alleging that they are employees of his Department, and will he make clear that any person doing that without proper authority is liable to prosecution?

Major Lloyd George

Anybody doing that without authority is definitely exceeding instructions.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that proceedings have been brought by his Department against persons whose premises have been entered in these circumstances, merely on suspicion, and will he look into the question whereby officers of his Department are allowed to enter premises, both private and business, if they suspect that the law is being infringed, without any necessity of having to procure a warrant?

Major Lloyd George

The officials have specific authority to enter food establishments, of course, but not private premises.

Mr. R. T. Paget

Will the Minister see that his officials take vigorous steps to prevent black marketing?

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