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Departmental Prosecutions

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how many prosecutions have been initiated by his Department since 1st February last; and for what breaches of the law these prosecutions were initiated.

Between 1st February, 1954, and 5th April, 1954, my Department initiated criminal proceedings in 95 cases. These involved offences under the Companies Acts, the Bankruptcy Acts, the Cinematograph Films Acts, the Statistics of Trade Act, Hire Purchase and Credit Sale Agreements (Control) Order, the Deeds of Arrangements Act, the Larceny Act, and the Registration of Business Names Act.

Will the President amplify that reply and indicate what proportion of these prosecutions related to his duties under die Companies Acts and the Registration of Business Names Act? It seems clear that in the other fields where he could be active the right hon. Gentleman is showing a degree of inactivity which would justify an even bigger cut than £1,000 a year in the Ministerial salary.

I do not think that my success as President of the Board of Trade can be judged by the number of prosecutions I institute.