Trading with the Enemy Act 1914

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Trading with the Enemy Act, 1914[1]
Long titleAn Act to make provision with respect to penalties for Trading with the Enemy, and other purposes connected therewith.
Citation4 & 5 Geo. 5 c. 87
Royal assent18 September 1914

The Trading with the Enemy Act 1914 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that prescribed an offence of conducting business with any person of "enemy character". It was enacted soon after the United Kingdom became involved in World War I.

Trading with the Enemy Amendment Act 1916[edit]

Under the 1914 Act, ownership of enemy assets (unless the property was insignificant) had been put in trust and held by the Public Trustee; business activities were monitored by the Board of Trade. The 1916 amendment required trustees to liquidate those holdings and hold the sale proceeds in trust for the enemy until the end of hostilities.[2]

Impact of the act[edit]

Hamburg-Amerika House, put up for sale under the Trading with the Enemy Act 1914

Daimler Co Ltd v Continental Tyre and Rubber Co (GB) Ltd, 1916 created case law as regards a company as a legal person, just like a natural person. can have enemy character though established in the UK.[3]

The Hamburg-Amerika House, premises of the Hamburg America Line, 14-16 Cockspur Street, London were offered for sale in 1917. The buyer was required to fill in a form to confirm on purchase that they were not purchasing on behalf of any nation “at war with Great Britain”.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Short title as conferred by s. 4 of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act".
  2. ^ page 2982 The London Gazette 17 March 1916, issue 29512
  3. ^ "Daimler Co., Ltd v. Continental Tyre and Rubber Co. (Great Britain), Ltd and Another [1916] UKHL 845 (30 June 1916)". World Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  4. ^ Steer, Robert. "SS Sibiria - Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War". Maritime Archaeology Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2019.