§ Sir J. BUTCHER
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the case of British subjects and subjects or citizens of Allied countries who have securities belonging to them deposited with the London agencies of the German banks now being wound up; what is the reason for the delay in handing over these securities to the persons entitled in cases where their title has clearly been proved, and, in particular, what is the reason for the delay in the case of the person whose name has been privately given quite recently to the Secretary to the Treasury; and what steps should, under the new conditions that have arisen, be taken by the persons entitled to these securities in order to obtain delivery of them?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. There has, so far as I am aware, been no delay in cases where the claimant to securities held by the enemy banks is in a position to prove clearly that the securities are and have been continuously since the outbreak of the War, his absolutely property. In the case to which the hon. Baronet refers the securities claimed are held by the London Agency of the Deutsche Bank for the account of their Head Office, and the London Agency has no knowledge of the claimant. The claimant has not produced the necessary evidence as to his ownership or the authority of the Head Office for the delivery to him of the securities. The London Agency were, however, as I have already informed the hon. Baronet, prepared, at Sir William Plender's suggestion, to deliver the securities on an indemnity from the claimant against any loss arising from their action, but the claimant does not appear to have desired to take advantage of his suggestion. In reply to the last part of the question, application should be made to the Controller appointed by the Board of Trade.