43. Lieut. - Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what sums have been received by way of directors' fees by the representatives of the Treasury on the board of the Suez Canal Company and by other directors, respectively, for the past three financial years; and what relation the sums so received bear to the dividends declared by that company?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hore-Belisha)
In accordance with the Statutes of the company 2 per cent. of its net profits are payable by way of remuneration to the directors. The total amounts payable to all the directors, who are 32 in number, were approximately £106,000 in 1931, £114,000 in 1932 and £124,000 in 1933. The remuneration of an individual director depends to some extent upon the number of meetings attended by him, and I am not, therefore, able to state the exact amounts received by the three official directors appointed by His Majesty's Government. In reply to the last part of the question, the ordinary shareholders receive 71 per cent. of the net profits and the directors, between them, 2 per cent.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Have the representatives of the Government on the directorate ever at any time received favourable consideration of claims put forward by British interests?
§ Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
Will the hon. Gentleman say whether the Government directors receive their fees as personal fees or is there some arrange- 1888 ment by which they are handed over to the Treasury?
§ 44. Sir A. WILSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what amount His Majesty's Government have received or expect to receive by way of dividend from their share holding in the Suez Canal Company for the year ended 31st December, 1933, as compared with their receipts for the two previous years; and what approximate proportion of this sum is contributed by British shipping using the canal?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
The amounts to be received by His Majesty's Government by way of dividend and statutory interest on their shares in the Suez Canal Company in respect of the year 1933 are estimated at £2,312,000, as compared with receipts of £2,342,000 in respect of 1931 and £2,057,000 in respect of 1932. Approximately 55 per cent. of the net tonnage passing through the canal is British.
§ 56. Sir A. WILSON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a departmental committee to inquire into the effect of Suez Canal dues upon the import and export trade of certain African dependencies and mandated territories, and of British colonial possessions in the Far East?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
The questions connected with Suez Canal dues and traffic concern other Departments besides the Colonial Office and I do not think that a Colonial Office committee could usefully undertake such an inquiry.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Can my right hon. Friend say whether, in refusing the appointment of a departmental committee, he is aware of the very great dissatisfaction existing in the British Colonies and Dependencies with regard to the administration of the Suez Canal Company as it affects British interests?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
That is a wide question in which the hon. Gentleman, I know, is interested. I have answered the particular question on the Paper.