HC Deb 16 March 1937 vol 321 cc1884-6W
Sir A. Wilson

asked the President of the Board of Trade upon what, if any, conditions did Mr. Isidore Ostrer offer, on 22nd May, 1931, to transfer a controlling interest in Gaumont-British, Limited, to the British Government; and what, if any, reply was given thereto by the Board of Trade?

Dr. Burgin

On 22nd May, 1931, Mr. Isidore Ostrer's solicitor, in a letter to the President of the Board of Trade, suggested that any danger of an undesirable control of the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, Limited, might be avoided by a gift to the nation of certain voting shares in the Metropolis and Bradford Trust Company, Limited, or by the creation of a special voting trust. The terms of the offer have recently appeared in the Press. The offer of the shares to the nation was carefully considered and discussed in detail with Mr. Ostrer's legal advisers, and on the 29th July, 1931, Mr. William Graham, who was then President, replied that it was not one which he could recommend the Government to accept; but that Mr. Ostrer would no doubt consider whether there were not other ways in which he could attain the object he had in view.