HC Deb 22 December 1915 vol 77 cc452-3
18 Mr. PETO

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether it is the intention of the Government to invite the Government of the Union of South Africa to pass legislation on the lines of the Trading With the Enemy (Extension of Powers) Bill; generally what steps are going to be taken to secure uniform legislation on the subject of enemy trading throughout the Empire; (2) whether a Public Trustee has been appointed to administer properties and businesses of persons and firms and companies of German association in the Union of South Africa; and (3) what steps are being taken to prevent trading with persons, firms, and companies of enemy association in the Union of South Africa?


Information with regard to legislation and executive action dealing with trading with the enemy, including the Bill recently introduced, is regularly communicated to the other Governments of the Empire. Absolute uniformity is not, I fear, attainable, and it must rest with the Governments of the different self-governing Dominions to decide how the general principles underlying British policy in the matter are to be applied. The Union Government has recently introduced a Trading With the Enemy Bill, but I have not at present received the text.


Will the hon. Gentleman communicate to the House the text of the Bill when received?


I will consult the Secretary of State. I do not think there will be any objection.


Does the reply mean that there will be conveyed to the Colonial Governments the text of the Bill suggested by the Foreign Office, and the new Bill promised by the President of the Board of Trade?


There is, I think, no question that if the new Bill is passed into law it will be communicated in the same way as the other.

19. Mr. PETO

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether dividends of the General Mining and Finance Corporation, and other mining companies in South Africa, are still paid on stock to bearer deposited with the Schweizerische Bank-verein and Schweizerische Kreditanstalt at Basle and Zurich; and what steps are taken to ascertain that no dividends so paid are passed on to and actually reach Germany?


I have no information with regard to the particular dividends referred to. The general position remains, I believe, as stated in my reply to my hon. Friend of 14th October.