§ Mr. COWAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the 12,000 shares in Minimax, Limited, held by enemies, which are to be sold by a receiver appointed by the Court, include the whole or part of some 6,000 shares in that company, which, according to the register at Somerset House, were held by Minimax Consolidated, Limited, in June, 1914; if not, if he could say who were the present holders, and since what date the ownership had been changed; whether he would similarly state if the 12,000 shares-included the whole or part of some 7,000 shares held in June, 1914, by a certain C. Benning, being the remainder of a large parcel of shares held by him as a nominee for various parties, including enemy subjects, and, if not, who were the present holders; whether he could state since what date the Public Trustee had control of the 12,000 shares in question; whether, having regard 1489W to the Government orders placed with Minimax, Limited, during the War, and the apparent uncertainty of the indirect destination of any profits accruing therefrom, he would cause careful inquiry to be made as to the extent to which shareholders in Minimax, Limited, were acting knowingly or unwittingly as nominees of enemy interests; and whether the total number of shares that should be under the control of the Public Trustee was considerably greater than 12,000?
The shares in Minimax, Limited, which were to be sold by the receiver for debenture-holders of Minimax Consolidated appointed by the Court, who has now been discharged, were originally held by Minimax Consolidated, or by nominees for that company. The inspector of Minimax Consolidated reported in November, 1914, that the shares belonging to that company had been disposed of since the outbreak of war, in order to discharge certain London liabilities. The vesting of the 12,000 shares registered in the names of enemies is waiting the result of an application to the Court with regard to 4,500 of these shares, and I will have further inquiry made by an inspector appointed under the Trading With the Enemy Acts as to the ownership of other shares.