22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 33

MITCHELL COTTS PROBLEMS Mr. Alexander Hamilton, chairman of Mitchell Cons

and Co., lays much store by the fact that the company keeps its eggs in many baskets: they are coal merchants, ship-owners and forwarding agents in many parts of the world, and par- ticularly in South Africa. He told shareholders on Wednes- day that, although as a result of the war they will have less favourable results in one or two sections than in the previous year, they would expect such instances to be compensated by better results elsewhere. The coal trade in South Africa, in which the company is largely interested, has returned to normal following upon the reopening of the Mediterranean, and although a very big demand in South Africa was antici- pated at the outbreak of war, the export trade from Durban has recently suffered a little owing to the lack of tonnage.