HC Deb 21 May 1940 vol 361 cc24-5
Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward

(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to prevent bonds and other securities which have been looted from the banks of Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium by the Germans from being sold or marketed in this country?

Sir K. Wood

Under an Order in Council dated 12th May amending the Defence (Finance) Regulations, 1939, the purchase by any person resident in the United Kingdom of any securities in which a person resident outside the sterling area has any interest is prohibited unless Treasury permission is obtained. In order to prevent any benefit direct or indirect to the enemy careful scrutiny into the antecedents of all foreign-owned securities is exercised before any such permission is granted, and this would of course be withheld in the cases referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend. Should it be found that a further strengthening of our measures in any respect is desirable, the necessary action would at once be taken.

Sir Edmund Findlay

In regard to the Order-in-Council, may I ask when it was published and when it was made available to the Press, because a number of these Orders-in-Council are published and are not available for general publication for a fortnight afterwards?

Sir K. Wood

I cannot give the date in this case but I read a Press notice on Saturday, 11th May, and that was about the same time that the Order was made.