§ Mr. NIELD
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether his attention has been called to and whether he has considered the statements contained in the statutory declaration of Mr. S. Mendelson, a naturalised British subject of Russian origin, but for some twenty years past resident in this country (which declaration has been forwarded to the Foreign Trade Department), with reference to the conduct of Mr. Alfred Mosely purporting to act as chairman of the Diamond Export Committee, and in particular to the manner in which the applications to him by or on behalf of Mr. Mendelson to pass 47W diamonds for export to France and Holland have been treated and delayed, as well as the conduct of Mr. Mosely towards witnesses tendered to him as to the origin of such diamonds; and whether he will cause an independent inquiry to be made into the conduct of Mr. Mosely and the manner in which the proceedings of the Diamond Export Committee are conducted by him, and in particular into the matter deposed to by Mr. S. Mendelson, including the attempt to hamper and restrict the export to France of stones for cutting and polishing in that country; (2) whether his attention has been called to the organisation in Paris of the diamond co-operative societies of Paris and of the Jura distirct, and its official connection with the Chambre Syndicate des Ouvriers Diamantaines, which is the official body representing the diamond trade in Paris, to whom the constitution of the French Import and Export Diamond Committee has been entrusted by the French Ministry of Commerce; whether he is aware that some 200 workmen are employed in Paris for the cutting and polishing of diamonds by the said diamond co-operative societies, which is managed by M. Felix Behr; whether he is also aware that the operations of this society have been considerably restricted by the refusal of the Diamond Export Committee in London, acting under the Foreign Trade Department, and in particular by the action of Mr. Alfred Mosely, the chairman, to pass diamonds in the rough intended for cutting and polishing in the Paris factory of the above-named society; whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the proceedings of the Diamond Export Committee, whereby undue preference is given to trade with Amsterdam, to the detriment of French interests; whether his attention has been called to the statements contained in the statutory declaration of M. Felix Behr (which has been forwarded to the Foreign Trade Department) as to the manner in which French interests have been and are being prejudiced by the action of the chairman of the London Diamond Export Committee; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter; (3) whether he is aware that Mr. Alfred Mosely, the chairman of the Diamond Export Committee, set up by the Foreign Trade Department for the ostensible object of preventing trade in diamonds of enemy origin, is himself engaged in dealing 48W with diamonds of South African origin, and that, acting as the chairman of the committee, he has shown a preference for the policy of exporting diamonds in the rough from this country to Holland for cutting and polishing, as against exports to France for the like purpose; whether he is aware that, as a result of such conduct, applications to the committee to pass stones for export to Paris for cutting and polishing have been delayed and prevented by his attitude to the detriment of the Paris industry, and that such action has given rise to considerable friction and dissatisfaction; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter; and (4) whether he is aware that the proceedings of the Diamond Export Committee, purporting to act under the direction of the Foreign Trade Department, continue to give rise to dissatisfaction to the trade by reason of the conduct of Mr. Alfred Mosely, the chairman of such committee, whereby, owing to frequent differences between him and the two other members of the committee, Mr. Litkel, one of such members, has ceased to attend the meetings of the committee, and that Mr. Breit-meyer, the remaining member, while attending the meetings, has been overruled and his opinion ignored, with the result that the control of the proceedings of such committee has drifted predominantly into the hands of Mr. Mosely, with the result above indicated; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ Mr. G. ROBERTS
The Board of Trade are in communication with the Foreign Trade Department on the subject referred to in the questions, and I will communicate with the hon. Member as soon as I am in a position to do so.