HC Deb 23 April 1940 vol 360 cc33-4
73. Mr. John Wilmot

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the number of companies registered in Cyprus during the six months September, 1939, to March, 1940, and in the similar periods of the years 1937–38 and 1938–39; now many of such companies are investment companies; whether they are regarded as non-resident for the purpose of the Defence (Finance) Regulations; and whether the holdings of such companies of American securities are being requisitioned with those of companies domiciled in Great Britain?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I have not the figures asked for in the first parts of the Question, but I am inquiring of the Governor of Cyprus. Companies registered in Cyprus would normally be regarded as resident there in the absence of any special circumstances which may affect individual concerns. Foreign securities held by residents in the Colonies have not been requisitioned, but they may not be disposed of without Government approval.

Mr. Wilmot

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply and while awaiting the figures which he has promised to get, may I ask whether he is aware that this method is used by unpatriotic people to avoid the requisitioning which falls upon others and by other sorts of people to transfer assets into enemy hands?

Mr. MacDonald

If the hon. Gentleman will give me any information he may have which he regards as relevant, I will very gladly consider it.

Colonel Nathan

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the making—if they are not already made—of Defence Regulations in Cyprus bearing on this point in the same way as Regulations exist in the neighbouring territory of Palestine?

Mr. MacDonald

I think the answer I have given covers the position fully. The matter is under consideration.

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