6 MAY 1938, Page 58

Rio Timm IN SPAIN.

. The report of Rio Tinto Company discussed here last week showed how the concern had suffered 'under the exchange control of General Franco's Government by being forced to take pesetas of unpredictable value in exchange for sterling and goods to the value of over £1,750,000. At the meeting on Friday the chairman, Sir Auckland Geddes, showed that the difficulties had not ended there.. In addition, there have been delays in getting the necessary permits to ship pyrite- from Huelva and the Burgos authorities have been indulging in pyrites, sanctions against France and Czechoslovakia with the "erroneous idea that they could compel 'them to "modify their national policies." Sir Auckland's conclusion was that : "As is the way with all imperfect sanctions, these Governments were not seriously inconvenienced, but Spain was." He estimated that the loss to the pyrites mines of Spain in 1937 was not less than 600,000 tons and that some part of that loss would be permanent. While giving publicity to these diffi- culties, Sir Auckland was careful to point out that his company takes no side in Spanish politics, and that it will do its best to cooperate with the Spam that Will emerge from a struggle which he inclines to think will end in a Franco victory. He was able to give his shareholders the still more welcome asstr- ance that in his view, the investments of the company out,' Spain doveted principal and interest of both the debenn, and preference capital - with a balance over fur the Ordinal--; shareholders.

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(Continued from page 846) CHEMISTS' CONTI1CUED EXPANSION

The expansion of Timothy Whites and Taylors, who con- trol, in conjunction with their associated companies, an impor- tant chain of chemists and hardware stores, has been very substantial over the past two years, and the chairman, Mr. Philip E. Hill, indicated last Friday that additional capital may be needed in the near future. He announced that if the directors ultimately decide on anything of the sort existing shareholders will be given priority rights. As to the extent of the expansion he pointed out that this year's profit of £460,332 was not comparable with the previous year's figure of £327,369, since the present accounts cover a year and a quarter's working. Nevertheless the current dividend of 40 per cent. was at the rate of 311 per cent. per annum as compared with 30 per cent. in the previous year. Moreover, business is still improving and the company has yet to receive the benefit of much of the development carried out in the past two years. The prospects Mr. Hill considers to be bright.