HC Deb 06 May 1913 vol 52 cc1845-7
50. Mr. FREDERICK HALL (Dulwich)

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that there is a rule of the Stock Exchange which precludes members from the conduct of business in certain circumstances by public officials; that this rule is stated to be evaded in many cases by the indirect financing of officials desiring to operate on the Exchange; and if he will consider as to framing regulations with a view to co-operating with the committee of the Stock Exchange in the matter in the interests of the public service?


If the hon. Member brings to my notice any specific evidence in support of the suggestions contained in the second part of his question, I will consider the matter.

53. Mr. F. HALL

asked if officials under the control of the Colonial Office are, by the terms of their appointment, prohibited from speculating in the shares of companies which are interested, directly or indirectly, in Government contracts?


The Colonial Regulation on the subject, which is binding on the whole of the Colonial service controlled by the Secretary of State, is as follows:—All salaried public officers, whether or not their whole time is at the disposal of the Government, are prohibited from directly or indirectly making or holding any local investment, speculating in the shares of or being connected with any company, occupation or undertaking, which might bring their private interests into real or apparent conflict with their public duties, or in any way influence them in the discharge of their duties. In all cases of doubt as to the application of this Regulation a public officer is required to submit the case for the Governor's decision.


Is that only applicable to the ordinary officials in the Department?


I do not know what is the distinction that the hon. Member draws between ordinary and other officials. I have said it is applicable to the whole of the Colonial service controlled by the Secretary of State.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the hon. Member does not practice what he preaches?


Has the hon. Member a right to make such a statement with regard to myself?


I deprecate altogether these personal allusions. Any hon. Member is entitled to put a question if he likes which is Parliamentary without subjecting himself to personal references.


Does this Regulation apply to officers appointed by Crown Colony Governments?


So long as the officer is under the control of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.