§ MR. COGHILL (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he can state whether the "Irish Exhibition in London" was registered by the Board of Trade with limited liability, without the addition of the word "Limited" to its name, under the provisions of Section 23 of the Companies' Act Amendment Act of 1867, 30 & 31 Vict., c. 33; whether he is aware that a prospectus was sent out by the responsible officers of the Company, containing no reference whatever to the fact that it was a Company limited by guarantee; that the amount of the guarantee was only that of seven subscribers of £10 each; that serious misunderstandings have arisen in the minds of creditors and others as to the responsibility for the Company's debts; and 883 that the Company owes at the present moment from £15,000 to £20,000; whether other Companies besides the "Irish Exhibition in London" have been registered by the Board of Trade without the addition of the word "Limited;" whether any such Companies have been wound up; and whether inconvenience to creditors, arising from the omission of the word "Limited," has resulted; and, whether, to prevent similar misunderstandings, for the future, he will consider the advisability of introducing a short Bill to repeal Section 23 of the Companies' Act Amendment Act of 1867?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
Yes, Sir; the objects of the Irish Exhibition in London, as disclosed in the Memorandum and Articles of Association, were certainly such as to bring it within the meaning of the section referred to by the hon. Member. The prospectus of the Company was not before the Board of Trade, nor has the Department any cognizance of its financial position. Several other Companies besides the Irish Exhibition in London have been registered without the addition of the word "Limited;" but the Board of Trade have no knowledge of the winding up of any such Companies, nor are they aware of any cases where inconvenience to creditors has arisen from the omission of the word "Limited." Many licences under the section are applied for in the course of the year. The question of the amendment of all the Companies Acts is now under consideration, and the point referred to shall be borne in mind.