HC Deb 30 September 1942 vol 383 cc798-9W
Sir L. Lyle

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether searches for alleged food hoarding are approved by his Department even if based on charges sent in by anonymous informers; how many of these searches have been hitherto carried out and with what results; and whether he is aware that procedure of the kind is repugnant to the British sense of justice and should be terminated?

Mr. Mabane

Yes, Sir. In view of the many successful prosecutions for food hoarding which have resulted from, investigations following the receipt of anonymous communications, my Noble Friend is not prepared to give any undertaking that information, on which action would otherwise be taken, should be ignored because it is anonymous. At the same time every care is taken to see that private householders are not unnecessarily inconvenienced and all such investigations are conducted with the utmost care, tact and discretion. Complete statistics of such searches are not available but, in many cases, anonymous communications have led to convictions with heavy fines, in one case amounting to £750. The answer to the last part of my hon. Friend's Question is "No, Sir."

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