§ MR. B. S. STRAUS (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General whether he is aware that the British South Africa (Chartered) Company is about to issue fresh capital on purely gambling terms, i.e., they are offering to their shareholders 1,000,000 shares of £1 each at par, notwithstanding that their present market value is about 15s only, but those taking these shares are to be entitled to purchase a like number of shares in two years' time at par and again a similar number at the same price in 1912, which simply means a call on such shares for four years at par; whether he can put a stop to such an apparent gambling transaction, seeing that the company holds a charter from the Government; and, if this does not come under the heading of a lottery or gamble, will he suggest legislation to prevent this kind of thing occurring in the future.
§ SIR W. ROBSON
was understood to say that the transaction did not appear to come within the Gaming Act, though it involved some degree of risk to the public in holding out the hope of a contingent profit. Speculation, deplorable though it might be, was not necessarily the same thing as gaming according to the Acts dealing with that practice; 60 otherwise many useful commercial transactions would be affected.
§ MR. BOTTOMLEY
asked whether, having regard to the financial methods adopted by the Chartered Company, the hon. and learned Gentleman would consider the propriety of advising a cancellation of the concession and of placing the Government of Rhodesia under some control free from Stock Exchange influence.