HC Deb 07 February 1949 vol 461 cc9-10W
65. Brigadier Thorp

asked the Minister of Food if he will make a statement about the investigation into black market operations in the Northern Region carried out by his Department during October and November, 1948.

76. Mr. F. Willey

asked the Minister of Food what methods of inquiry were used in operation Octopus of which he did not approve; and whether he intends to make a statement on the results of his present inquiry regarding operation Octopus.

77. Mr. Grey

asked the Minister of Food how wide and extensive were the inquiries into the black market in the North-East; and why no action was taken against those where a prima facie case had been established.

Mr. Strachey

I propose to make a further statement when the inquiry I have set on foot is completed. Meanwhile there is little I can add to the answer I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Brigadier Thorp) on Wednesday, 2nd February. The methods of which I disapproved involved connivance in offences on the part of officers or agents of the Ministry. As I have already stated, the evidence obtained by the investigation was not such as to justify proceedings.

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