HC Deb 19 January 1944 vol 396 cc155-6
15. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the facilities of the diplomatic bag were made available to Mr. Serge Rubinstein, a financier, for the transport of his business correspondence from America to London.

17. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the diplomatic bag was used to convey share proxies of the Chosen Corporation from New York to London.

Mr. Eden

The use of the diplomatic bag for business or other non-official matter is as a general rule prohibited. For some time, His Majesty's Government have been concerned with the affairs of the Chosen Corporation particularly in relation to the realisation of the Corporation's assets in the United States. On 29th December, His Majesty's Consul at New York forwarded to the Treasury by bag certain duplicate proxies, the originals of which, he was informed, had already been despatched by air-mail; in a covering letter, the Consul made the ultimate delivery of the proxies dependent on the decision of the Treasury. I am examining the existing regulations to see whether any further restrictions are required in the light of this incident.

Mr. Driberg

Can we take it then, that there was no covering letter or note from Mr. Rubinstein himself or that, if there was, it did not go through the censorship?

Mr. Eden

If my hon. Friend wants to know about the contents perhaps he will be good enough to address a question to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor. I am responsible for transit and not for the contents.

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