§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether it is the fact that the Horticultural Company (John Wills, Limited), went into liquidation in the year 1882; whether the plant, business premises, &c., were shortly after sold; and, whether the liquidation is still being continued, entailing heavy costs upon the creditors and shareholders?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
I have received the following information respecting the case referred to by the right hon. Gentleman. This Company 1008 was ordered to be wound up by an order dated December 9, 1882. The business was carried on (for the purpose of a sale as a going concern) for some time at the instance of creditors and shareholders. A contract for sale was made on April 23, 1883, which was rescinded in November of that year (the purchaser being unable to complete). The property was finally sold piecemeal, the sales being completed in 1885. The certificate of contributories was made on May 26, 1883; the certificate of debts in July, 1886. A dividend of 4s. in the £1 was paid in July, 1886; a further dividend of 2s. in the £1 was paid in August, 1887, when an order was made to tax the costs; and in April last the solicitor was called upon to explain the delay in completing the taxation. It is explained that delay arose from carrying on the business in view of the attempt to sell as a going concern, and from litigation with the vendor to the Company and with the mortgagee of the property. The litigation is being continued only as far as it is necessary to tax the costs and divide the residue of the property among the creditors; but this entails slight, not heavy, costs upon the creditors, and as the estate is insolvent of course none upon the shareholders.