HC Deb 24 October 1916 vol 86 cc959-60W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer who was responsible for employing a firm of brokers of enemy origin to sell certain shares, being part of the assets of the Dresdner Bank; whether that firm was censured by the committee of the Stock Exchange for having, for the purposes of such sale, signed the white declaration form stating that the shares in question had not been in enemy ownership when they knew that the contrary was the fact; and whether he will take steps to empower and instruct the controller in future to employ brokers of British birth and origin to sell securities belonging to enemy banks controlled by him?


The bank in question who sold the shares (twenty-five of a value of £14) was not the Dresdner Bank but the Disconto Gesellschaft. It was within their discretion to employ any firm of brokers who are duly elected members of the Stock Exchange. I am informed that the firm in question had been regularly employed by the Bank before the outbreak of War and consists of four partners, of whom two are naturalised British subjects of enemy origin and the other two of English birth. I am advised that the transaction itself was a perfectly proper one, and that the use of the wrong form which incurred the censure of the Stock Exchange Committee was due to a misunderstanding.