HC Deb 05 April 1944 vol 398 cc2018-9W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether his attention has been called to pilfering at the docks, amongst other things, parcels for prisoners of war, provisions for lifeboats and supplies for the Armed Forces; and what steps does he propose to take to stop this.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for calling attention to the important question of thieving in the docks. My noble Friend has set up special committees in all the major ports to combat this evil by all the means in their power. Dock workers found guilty either of theft, or of receiving stolen goods, are dismissed from employment, and they lose their permits to enter the docks. Traders have been advised that they should give no indication of the contents of packages on the outside covers, and a packing code has recently been issued to help consignors. My noble Friend has been particularly concerned at the serious thefts from lifeboats, and has issued a special warning against this despicable offence. This warning has been circulated by the Home Office to all Chief Constables at sea ports.

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