HC Deb 06 July 1916 vol 83 cc1653-4
17. Mr. PETO

asked the Home Secretary whether the sub-manager of the Russian Bank for Foreign Trade in London is Mr. Alexander Szilagyi, who is an unnaturalised Hungarian and has been six years in London; whether Mr. Szilagyi holds the procuration of the bank; whether another employé is a man named G. Schneider, who is an unnaturalised German, and whether the documents relating to shipments of munitions of war to Russia passed through his hands; whether, subsequent to the loss of His Majesty's ship "Hampshire" and the death of Lord Kitchener, this man was removed to another department of the bank; whether a third employé of the bank is a brother of Mr. Szilagyi; and whether he proposes to take any steps in this matter?


The facts with regard to the employment of the three persons referred to are as stated. The two Hungarians have been exempted from internment, and Schneider from repatriation, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee. In the case of the former strong representations were made by the Russian Embassy as to their being indispensable to the bank, while Schneider was exempted in consideration of a bond given by the bank, and in view of the facts that he has resided here for over twenty-five years, has an English wife, and was favourably reported on. I am informed by the bank that in the course of his work Schneider may have handled documents relating to certain shipments to Russia of articles required for the production of munitions, but that there is no connection between this circumstance and the recent change in his work, and there is no foundation whatever for the suggestion that the handling of these documents by Schneider had or could have had any connection with the loss of His Majesty's Ship "Hampshire."