§ 63. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the judgment of Lord Justice Swinfen Eady in a case of Jager v. Tolme and Runge and others, reported in "Lloyd's List" of 5th February, 1916, in which the Lord Justice stated that at the outbreak of the War the firm of Tolme and Runge consisted of three members, two of whom were in England and the third was and had since remained, and for aught that appeared still was resident, in Hamburg, and must, therefore, be treated as adhering to the King's enemies; whether the three partners referred to are Hermann Runge, now in England, Richard Runge, his brother, now in Hamburg, and J. J. Runge, son of Hermann Runge, the manager appointed by the Government of the Royal Commission on Sugar; whether Richard Runge is still a partner in the firm of Tolme and Runge; if not, when he ceased to be a partner; and whether his share in that firm has been ascertained and paid over into the hands of the custodian under the Trading With the Enemy Act, 1914?
§ Mr. MCKENNA
My attention has not been called to the judgment of which the question purports to reproduce a part, but the facts stated in the question appear to be substantially those with which I have already dealt as fully as it would seem possible that the public interest can in any way demand. I have nothing to add, except to state that so far from there being anything in the accounts of the firm in question to the credit of Mr. Richard Runge, who ceased to be a member of the firm on 4th August, 1914, he is a debtor to the firm in respect of a considerable sum. The Public Trustee has full knowledge of the position.
§ 64. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Royal Commission on Sugar, of which Mr. J. J. Runge is manager, still continue to make large purchases of sugar through the firm of Tolme and Runge; and whether he will state the total amount in quantity or in value of such purchases?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have nothing to add to the reply to a similar question by the hon. Member for Mansfield on 2nd December last.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Why is it necessary to have these people of enemy origin buying for the Government? Why can we not have British subjects?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Yes, by birth, and his father is a British subject. He has done most excellent service for the Sugar Commission.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Is there any objection to the right hon. Gentleman stating, as is asked in the last paragraph in the question, "the total amount in quantity or in value of such purchases" by this firm?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The firm is not employed by the Sugar Commission. The firm would sell to us like any other firm. I do not think it would be in the public interest to give any figures.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member will look at the number of questions he will see that he is rather monopolising too much time.