5 MAY 1939, Page 42

Sir Auckland Geddes was naturally not able to tell the

shareholders of the Rio Tinto Company that there had as yet been relief from the disabilities under which the com- pany is operating in Spain. On the contrary, he showed that the amount of sterling and goods which have had to be de- liver.d to the Spanish authorities up to date exceeds £2,850,000, that the company now carries in its balance-sheet no less than 36,275,071 pesos at a nominal valuation, and that the prohibition on the exports of the company's produce to France still persists, with damaging effect. But he did strike a note of hopefulness now that the Spanish War is finished.

They were fortunate, he said, in having emerged from the conflict with their properties undamaged and with cordial relationships with the Spanish Government. They have in- troduced the recovery of gold into their mining operations, and he wished to make it clear that by carrying the com- pany's large holding of pesos at the balance-sheet valuation of

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£2 or £3, he was not expressing a view that that was their ultimate worth. In addition to its cooper and pyrites mines m Spain, the company holds an important portfolio of Rho- desian copper investments. Sir Auckland showed that last year's profit was substantially lower than the total income received from the Rhodesian holdings, thus illustrating the drain which the company has suffered in meeting the ex- change requirements of the Spanish authorities.