§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether it is the duty of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies at Somerset House to exercise reasonable care and judgment, in order to prevent new companies being registered with names so closely resembling those by which subsisting companies are already registered, as to be calculated to cause complication and confusion in the transaction of business, and even to mislead the public as to the identity of the companies; whether his attention has been called to the fact that a company designated the Alliance Trust Company, Limited, was registered on the 21st April, 1888, that the Alliance Trust and Investment Company, Limited, and the Alliance Investment Company, Limited, were registered in 1888, and the Alliance Mortgage and Investment. Company, Limited, in 1890; and whether he will call the attention of the Registrar to the similarity of these titles, with the view of preventing for the future the registration of companies with almost identical designations?
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
Yes, Sir, by Section 20 of "The Companies' Act, 1862," it is enacted that—No company shall be registered under a name identical with that by which a subsisting company is already registered, or so nearly resembling the same as to be calculated to deceive.997 My attention has not been called to the companies mentioned by the hon. Member. The Registrar decides the matter, unless he is in doubt or unless some appeal is made to the Board of Trade. In the cases to which the hon. Member refers the Registrar did not think that the names resembled each other so closely as to be calculated to deceive, the two most nearly alike, namely: the "Alliance Trust," and the "Alliance Trust and Investment," carried on business in London and in the North of Scotland respectively, and the Registrar thought that the introduction of the word Investment and the surrounding circumstances were sufficient to prevent confusion.