HC Deb 20 December 1916 vol 88 cc1487-8W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the duties of the office of censor of diamonds for exports is exercised by Mr. La Breitmayer, a German subject naturalised as recently as October, 1914; Mr. Leon Rozelaar, who though born here is of alien enemy parentage; and V. A. Lilkie, a Russian subject; whether any effort was made to get these duties performed by merchants of undoubted British birth and descent; and will he consider the desirability of controlling British traders in diamonds by censors of their own nationality, and not subjecting them and the industry to the control of foreign or naturalised dealers who are competitors in trade; and whether any inquiry was made or any guarantee obtained as to the expert qualifications of these gentlemen to judge polished diamonds?


The Diamond Exports Committee consists of Mr. A. Mosely, C.M.G., Mr. L. Breitmeyer, and Mr. V. A. Litkie. Mr. Mosely, the chairman, is of British birth and descent. Mr. Breitmeyer was naturalised at the date mentioned; I understand that he is of German birth, but he has lived in this country for many years. Mr. Litkie is, I believe, a natural-born British subject of Polish descent. Mr. Leon Rozelaar is not a member of the Committee, but he has been authorised to act on it during the visits of Mr. Mosely to foreign countries on the business of the Committee. All these appointments were made after careful consideration and inquiry.