§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ LORD SOMERLEYTON
My Lords, the objects of this Bill are threefold, first to extend the operation of the existing Trading with the Enemy Acts in which the powers have been found insufficient to deal completely with undertakings which have been carried on for the benefit or under the control of alien enemies; secondly to simplify the procedure, and to deal with questions of enemy banking business after the war. Orders have now been made under the Trading with the Enemy (Amendment) Act 1916 for the winding up of the businesses of the German and Austrian banks, and having regard not only to the powerful influence which banks are able to exercise on business operations of all kinds but also to the information which bankers obtain in the conduct of their business, and further to the facilities which could be afforded after the war by enemy banks to businesses which might not be carried on for the benefit of this country, it is desirable to deal with banking business in a special way. The Government hope and mean to prevent any such business being carried on for the benefit or under the control of enemies after the termination of the war. The Bill has been considerably strengthened in another place, and I hope that your Lordships will agree to give it a second reading today.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Somerleyton.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.