asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the following businesses are being conducted under the supervision of the Board of Trade, and, of so, will he say what the nature of the supervision is, and can he say of the owners, partners, and managers of the concerns who are naturalised, who are alien enemies, and, of the number, how many are now interned, or, having been interned, have been released to resume their business: Hirsch, Wolgemuth and Company, London; Wolf Sayer and Heller, London; Wambach and Company, Glasgow and elsewhere; Cleeberg and Son, Dumfries; Vormberger and Company, alias the Universal Casings Company, Limited, with numerous branches throughout the country; Giersberg and Company, Nottingham; Schulke and Company, alias the Lincolnshire Casings Company; Kraft, Hornung and Company, alias English Casings Company, with about forty branches; Menzies and Company, Stratford, E.; and Werninger and Son, Alder-shot; and, besides the firms mentioned, has the Board of Trade knowledge of any other enemy-owned firms now carrying on the same line of business in this country?
Sir A. STANLEY
The particulars asked for with regard to the businesses mentioned are as follow:
(1) Hirsch, Wohlgemuth and Company.—The proprietors, Messrs. Hirsch and Wohlgemuth, are naturalised British subjects of German origin. No supervisor has been appointed of the business.
(2) Wolf Sayer and Heller.—The principals are George Saver and Isidore Heller, both citizens of and resident in the United States. The London branch is 1473W managed by Ernest George Tarrant, a British subject. No supervisor has been appointed of the business.
(3) Wambach and Company, of Glasgow, Colchester, Ipswich and Barking.—The Glasgow business is owned by a naturalised British subject of German origin; the other businesses by three naturalised British subjects of German origin and one German subject. A supervisor of the businesses has been appointed with instructions to pay occasional visits to the Glasgow business so as to keep himself informed as to the general conduct of the business; and in regard to the other businesses to make periodical examinations of the books and other information kept at Glasgow, and to make reports thereon from time to time. The enemy subject was interned, but I understand was subsequently released. The businesses are managed by the partners.
(4) Cleeberg and Son, Dumfries.—This small business, with a capital in December, 1916, of £162, is owned by a German father and his natural-born British son, who apparently have equal interests in the business. It is reported that the father has taken no active participation in the management for some years. A supervisor was appointed to pay occasional visits so as to keep himself informed as to the general conduct of the business. The Board of Trade have no information as to internment of the father, who is sixty six years of age. The business is managed by the son.
(5) Universal Casings Company, Limited.—One director is a naturalised British subject of German origin, the other two directors being British-born subjects. The capital held by alien enemies is less than 1 per cent. The business is not supervised.
(6) English and Continental Casings Company, Limited.—One director is a naturalised British subject of German origin, the other four directors being British-born subjects. The manager came to this country in 1884, having renounced his German nationality, but has not been naturalised in this country. He has not been interned so far as the Board of Trade are aware. The case has been considered by the Board's Advisory Committee, who considered that the business was not within Section 1 of the Trading With the Enemy (Amendment) Act, 1916, but the shares held by enemies have been sold to British subjects and the business is not supervised.1474W
(7) Menzies and Company, Stratford.—The proprietor of the business, William Menzies, is a German subject, who has-carried on business in this country for thirty-four years. The case was referred to the Board's Advisory Committee, who found a special reason for not winding it up. The inspectors reported that in July, 1916, the assets were £2,000 and liabilities £1,612, leaving a surplus of £396, so that the business was of small dimensions. A supervisor was appointed to pay occasional visits so as to keep himself informed as to the general conduct of the business. Menzies was interned for a short time and then released. The business is managed by Menzies.
The Board of Trade do not appear to have any record of other firms carrying on a similar business in which there is an enemy interest.
Inquiries shall be made as to Giersberg and Company, Schulke and Company, and Werninger and Company.