HC Deb 07 October 1942 vol 383 cc1236-7W
Mr. Hewlett

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he can make any statement on the prevalence of thefts at the Liverpool docks and the steps taken to prevent them?

Mr. Noel-Baker

No complete or comparable statistics of thefts in the Liverpool Docks are available. I am afraid, however, that, at Liverpool as elsewhere, the number of thefts has undoubtedly increased since the war began. The increase is due in part to the blackout, to the shortage of packing materials, and to the consequent difficulties of ensuring adequate supervision; the large profit to be made on the black market has also been an important factor. Vigorous measures to check the abuse have been taken, with the help of all the authorities at Liverpool, and firms concerned; the police have given special attention to the matter, and have secured a number of convictions. Many persons besides dock workers have been involved, but 414 dock workers who have been guilty of theft have been dismissed.