§ Mr. BARNES
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that an East Ham tradesman was recently prosecuted at the East Ham Police Court for effecting a sale, at the request of an agent of the shops' inspector, after closing hours; and if he will state to the House whether he proposes to take any action to prevent public officials tempting 2059W tradesmen to break the law for the purpose of enforcing the law?
I have been asked to reply to this question. I am informed that the East Ham Town Council, which is responsible for the enforcement of the Shops Acts in the borough, has had great difficulty with a certain section of shopkeepers who, notwithstanding cautions and prosecutions, have repeatedly evaded the law, and that in the case in question complaints had been received from other shops in the same trade that the law was being disregarded. Special circumstances may make it necessary to employ an agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence, and on the facts stated my right hon. Friend is satisfied that the action of the local authorities was quite justified.