§ 40. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in winding up the business affairs of alien enemy firms and companies, provision is 1501 made for paying compensation to British subjects or friendly aliens for loss of employment?
Compensation for loss of employment is paid to persons employed in enemy businesses wound up under the Trading With the Enemy (Amendment) Act, 1916, on the same basis as in an ordinary liquidation.
§ Mr. THORNE
Are any steps taken for the purpose of finding those men employment who may be thrown out in consequence of German firms being wound up?
§ 41. Major HUNT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the firm of Chavres, Wilson, Peck, and Company, of Fargate and Leopold Street, Sheffield, and of the firms incorporated with them; is he aware that these firms are owned and financed by Bechstein and Company, of Germany, the well-known German piano makers; and if he will make inquiries about these firms with a view to having them wound-up?
The cases of Arthur Wilson, Peck, and Company, Limited, and Hopkinson's Successors, Limited, have been considered by the Advisory Committee, who recommended that the shares and debentures held by enemy subjects should be vested in the Public Trustee with a view to their being sold, and he is now negotiating a sale.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in reply to a question from me his predecessor stated that the majority of these shares held by Bechstein and Company in Berlin would not be disposed of during the War?
§ 42. Major HUNT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the Forester Paper Company, of Acton; and whether, in view of the fact that an uninterned Austrian, Egon Friedman, has by far the largest individual proportion of the profits of this company, he will have this alien business wound-up, as it competes with British businesses whose managers have been called up for service with the Army?
A majority of the shares of the Forester Paper Company, 1502 Limited, are held by British subjects, but I am asking the Advisory Committee to consider what course should be taken with regard to the shares held by enemy subjects.
§ Major HUNT
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the manager of this paper company is only thirty-four years of age and has two brothers fighting against us, and is it not very unfair that an alien enemy should remain manager of a company in competition with a company whose managers have been taken away to serve in the Army?
I am obliged for the information the hon. and gallant Gentleman gives me. I will convey it to the proper quarter.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have raised this question half-a-dozen times and can get no satisfaction from the Board of Trade?