HC Deb 05 March 1919 vol 113 cc446-7W
Lieutenant-Colonel GUINNESS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the British Government are permitting the American Metal Company to sell and ship lead, chiefly the product of Mexico, to the British market, in competition with Empire production and British and allied firms; whether their capital is divided into the following shares, Metallgesellschaft of Frankfurt, 34,644; Henry R. Merton and Company, in liquidation, 16,736; and various American interests, 18,620; and whether he can state who are the agents acting for the American Metal Company?


There is no power to prevent a firm allowed to carry on its business in the United States from shipping non-ferrous metals to this country so long as the transaction is in the hands of a firm in the United Kingdom duly licensed under the Non-Ferrous Metal Industry Act, 1918. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative except that the shares formerly held by the Metallgesellschaft of Frankfurt, have, I understand, been transferred to the Alien Property Custodian in the United States. I am not aware that the American Metal Company have at present any agents in this country.