HC Deb 12 July 1916 vol 84 cc337-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to a firm of varnish manufacturers at Carpenters Road, Stratford, trading under the name of W. Conrad Schmidt, a German, and owned by a Ger man named F. A. Glaeser, residing in Wiesbaden; will he say why this firm has not been wound up under the Defence of the Realm Act; and will he take prompt measures to stop this enemy trading in our midst?


The business of Conrad William Schmidt (F. A Glaeser), Limited, has been considered by the Advisory Committee, who have reported that the business is one which it is desirable to maintain, and have recommended that the enemy interest should be vested in the Public Trustee with a view to a sale to British subjects, instead of an order being made to wind up the business. That course is now being taken.

83. Mr. G. TERRELL

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he will be prepared to make a statement as to the progress of the work of the Committee dealing with enemy companies and share holders?


I propose to publish a statement of the work of the Advisory Committee under the Trading With the Enemy Amendment Act, 1916, within a. few days.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in connection with the sale of enemy shares in British companies, full uncontrolled authority to make whatever bargains he pleases is vested in the Public Trustee; and whether, in view of the importance of the property involved and the urgency of clearing our industries of all enemy interests, he will see his way to appoint a Committee to assist the Public Trustee in the prompt execution of his duties?


The Public Trustee has full authority to complete sales of enemy shares in British companies, and he is in close communication with the Board of Trade in the matter. He is free to consult the Board of Trade Advisory Committee on points of difficulty which may arise in carrying out his duties, and I doubt whether the sale of enemy shares would be expedited by the appointment of another Committee.


Is there not a great deal of delay in carrying this work through?


I hope not, Sir; if there is curable delay I will attempt to cure it.


Is it not the fact that the Public Trustee refuses to give information to manufacturers who desire to buy these German firm interests that will enable them to arrive at an early decision?


I note the information which my hon. Friend has given me.