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Identity Cards

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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asked the Minister of Health on what date British subjects became exempt from the obligation to carry with them their National Registration identity cards, having regard to the fact that they are now specifically enjoined to carry it only in the four areas specified in the Emergency Powers (Defence) Regulated Areas Order (Statutory Rule and Order, No. 714, 1943)?

Under the National Registration Act, as amended by Defence Regulation 20AB, it is the duty of a person to produce his identity card when required to do so by a police officer or other prescribed person. He cannot of course discharge that obligation unless he is carrying his identity card at the time when he is required to produce it. But in the event of his failure to produce it, the Act as amended provides that he shall not be convicted of an offence in respect of his default if the identity card is produced within the prescribed period at the place and to the person prescribed. These provisions are not affected by the Order referred to by my hon. Friend which, as he will appreciate, imposes a specific duty to carry as well as to produce the identity card, without the qualification which I have mentioned.