HC Deb 31 October 1918 vol 110 cc1589-90
95 Major HUNT

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what correspondence passed between the Mond Nickel Company, Limited, and the Board of Trade concerning the allotment by the director of that company of 17,775 shares between the 6th September and the 9th December, 1914, to enemies resident in Germany; whether the Board of Trade issue a licence to trade to the directors of this company authorising them to allot any of these shares; (2) when the Board of Trade first became aware of the allotment of 17,776 shares or any shares by the directors of the Mond Nickel Company, Limited, to enemies resident in Germany between the 6th September and the 9th December, 1914; (3) if he will state the names of the officials who were responsible for authorising the Mond Nickel Company, Limited, in 1914 to register 17,775 shares in the names of enemies resident in Germany; what were the reasons which induced the Board of Trade to authorise such registration; (4) at what dates were the shares in the Mond Nickel Company, Limited, held by enemies resident in Germany, vested in the Public Trustee; when and to whom were they sold by him; and what are the names of the two enemy shareholders whose shares have not been so vested or sold?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir A. Stanley)

The only correspondence between the Mond Nickel Company, Limited, and the Board of Trade with regard to the allotment or registration of shares in the names of enemies, is that referred to in the answer given to the question of the hon. and gallant Member for Christchurch on the 21st October. The earliest record in the Board of Trade of any information on this matter is an interview with the secretary of the company on the 3rd December, 1914, but there may have been some previous interview of which no record is available. The ground on which registration of the shares in the names of enemies was authorised was that, as soon as the arrangement entered into before the War was completed by such registration, all dividends on the shares to which enemies were entitled became payable to the Public Trustee, and the enemy interests were put into a form which could be dealt with conveniently, while no-benefit was conferred on enemies. The authority was given by the Board of Trade.

The enemy shares were vested in the Public Trustee on the 11th October, 1918, and I am informed that they were sold by him on the Stock Exchange on the 16th October to numerous purchasers. The shares which have not been sold owing to the holders being reported to be dead are those registered in the names of Brandholt and Wuth.

Major HUNT

Do I understand that the Board of Trade did not authorise this company to allot any shares to enemy aliens?


My reply necessarily is fairly long, and if my Hon. Friend will carefully read it I think it covers the points he raises.