Following the First World War, there was a certain amount of anti-German feeling and some of this was shown towards an Austrian-born stockbroker called Max Pollak, who had spent some of the war years in an internment camp. Eric made a point of going out of his way to be friendly and help him and this started a friendship which led to a life-long business association, which began when Eric was approached by Max Pollak with the suggestion they go into business together. After consulting his wife, Phyllis, about the possibility of taking this major step at that time when the market was slack and he had the responsibilities of a home and family to consider. She assured him that she would wish him to decide on their future exactly as he would have done as an unmarried man, living on his own. So he accepted the offer and entered the business as a junior partner but some six months later, Max Pollak declared that, as far as he was concerned, they had been full partners from the time E.F. joined him, and the financial position between them should be adjusted accordingly. This was a gesture Eric appreciated deeply and never forgot for the rest of his life although it was written of him "Freemantle was the dealer in a partnership which was blooded and boosted in the great platinum boom ... and slump".
Not too long after this, a disaster overtook him, when a man by the name of Hunt forged the signatures of many clients on share transfers, thus fraudulently obtaining the proceeds of these fictitious dealings. It was at this time that a Jewish financier, a business associate, showed him great friendship. He telephoned Eric to say that if one hundred thousand pounds (a very large sum in those days) would save him from bankruptcy, it was his! And he could consider it a loan with no time limit, but on the other hand, if the amount offered would simply be paid into the hands of the creditors without preventing this catastrophe, the offer did not stand. In the event, Eric did not find it necessary to accept this generous, but sensible offer and in later years, he would say, "If Hunt had known to the last penny what I possessed, he could not have judged the position more accurately". Hunt, in fact, was charged and spent time in jail but, after his release, I believe he repeated this same type of crime on some other innocent businessman.
My brother John also recalled the following incident: 'On the Stock exchange trading floor, a long time ago, there was a broker who was completely bald. It was an oft-repeated joke for the others on the floor to chill their hands on the marble pillars, then put them on the baldy's head. One morning he blew his top and swore that the next bastard that did this would be pulverised. Our father was late onto the floor that morning and did not hear the warning. So, he chilled his hands and put them on baldy's pate, then ducked down. Baldy swung round hard, hitting the man standing behind our father, knocking him out'.