HC Deb 02 April 1928 vol 215 cc1593-4
Major OWEN

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I want to make a short personal explanation with regard to a matter which has already been brought before the House on Thursday last, when the hon. Member for East Bristol (Mr. W. Baker) quoted a letter from the chairman of the Commonwealth Trust, Limited, in which certain insinuations were made. In the same letter, there appeared the following paragraph:

"For some time past there has been a steady stream of questions in Parliament, criticising the Commonwealth Trust, Limited, in which, besides Mr. Baker, Colonel Wedgwood, M.P., Sir Robert Hamilton, M.P., Major Owen, M.P., and Mr. Kelly, M.P., have taken part. We do not flatter ourselves that this curiosity was uninspired, but it would be interesting to know the source of inspiration."

I do not exactly know what the insinuation is there. The only explanation I want to make to the House is this, that I knew nothing at all about, and had no connection with, the foreign company referred to; the questions were suggested to me by a shareholder in the Commonwealth Trust, Limited, and, as I considered it a matter of public policy, I agreed to put those questions in this House.


When on Thursday last this question was raised by the hon. Member for East Bristol (Mr. W. Baker), I was not aware that my name was mentioned in that letter. I want to join with that which has been said both by the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken and by the hon. Member for East Bristol, and to say that I have no connection whatever, either direct or indirect, with anything that is hinted at in this letter, but simply raised the question as a matter of public interest.