asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the Staffordshire police have in recent weeks prosecuted many of the largest motor manufacturers in the country for alleged offences in relation to the use of general identification licences; and whether, having regard to the heavy expense incurred in defending these summonses, many of which have been dismissed, and the unjustifiable waste of money which would be involved by any attempt to comply with the view of the regulations taken by the Staffordshire police, he will give such instructions as will at once stop this interference with a large industry?
I have made inquiries and I find that the Staffordshire police, having been asked by the Ministry of Transport to take steps to stop the improper use of general identification marks, have prosecuted in a number of cases where there was primâa facie evidence of a breach of the regulations. There have been a few dismissals, but it would not be reasonable to expect the police to be able to obtain a conviction in every case. I do not find any ground for intervention on my part.
Why is it necessary for the Staffordshire police to be asked to take special action?
I do not know that it is special.
The right hon. Gentleman said "take special action"?
I said "to take steps."