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Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food the total number of persons prosecuted by his Department; and how many were employers and servants, respectively?

My Department has taken proceedings on 76,730 summonses since the outbreak of war. The figures of numbers of persons prosecuted are not available except from the beginning of the year 1942. In that year 15,188 persons were prosecuted, the total number of successful prosecutions being 31,397. It would not be possible to make any significent analysis of the figures in the manner suggested by my hon. Friend. In this connection, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to a like Question on 12th May, 1942.

Is care taken to see that no assistant is prosecuted where the benefit of the offence accrues to the employer?

Cannot my hon. Friend be more emphatic and say with pride that his Department prosecutes more employers than any other Department and is not dealing with prosecutions of employees?

My hon. Friend will realise the difficulty of distinguishing between those who are employers and those who are employees, such as directors of companies.