In June 1940 the Italians besieged Malta. The date is significant because this was the month and year of Newman Brothers’ last order to Malta during the Second World War, which is displayed on the left-hand page of this ledger. Newman Brothers had to include a letter with this order, declaring that they were not knowingly trading with the enemy, as this carried a penalty of up to 7 years’ imprisonment. A copy of that letter can be seen on the right-hand page of this ledger. It reads:
“In the shipping advice is inserted the Enemy Trading Clause as follows:
‘we declare to the best of our knowledge, information and belief that the persons to whom the goods are ultimately destined are not enemies, or to be treated as enemies under the Enemy Act.’
Also letter of authority as follows:- typed on our letter heading and signed by a Director or the Secretary.
To the Honourable Customs & Excise:
‘We, Messsrs. Newman Bros (B’ham) Ltd, Fleet Works, Fleet Street, Birmingham 3 hereby appoint Messrs. Morison, Rollexsen Blair Ltd to be our agents for the purpose of making entry with the customs of all goods exported by us at the port of and (all the above has a red line struck through and marked “Cancelled”)’”