HC Deb 27 November 1906 vol 165 cc1436-7
MR. RENDALL (Gloucestershire, Thornbury)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that ordinary trading companies are being registered under the provisions of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, whereby they obtain the advantages of incorporation with limited liability, without having to pay the capital and other duties payable by ordinary companies registered under the Companies Acts; and if he proposes to take steps to prevent the practice.


Section 4 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1893 provides that a society may be registered "for carrying on any industries, businesses or trades authorised by its rules, whether wholesale or retail, including dealings of any description with land." The Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies informs me that it would be extremely difficult to amend the Act without severely crippling the co-operative movement in the country, so as to prevent any trading company from being registered under the Act, but the Chief Registrar has refused to register societies which appeared to him to have objects not in accordance with the Act and has cancelled the registry of other societies which have violated the provisions of the Act.