§ MR. SUMMERBELL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to a clause in the policies of assurance companies which stipulates that such companies are not bound by the acts of their agents or representatives unless the same be countersigned by the general manager; and, if so, whether he is prepared to take 984 steps by legislation or otherwise to make such companies responsible for the acts of their agents or representatives when acting as such on behalf of the company.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
I do not know whether any insurance company issues policies containing a clause stipulating that the company is not bound by the acts of its agents or representatives unless countersigned by the general manager. My attention has, however, been called by the hon. Member to a clause in a policy issued by an insurance company in which it is stated that no agent or other representative has any authority to dispense with the express performance of any of the conditions referred to in the policy and that no alterations of the policy or any endorsement thereof will be valid as against the company unless the same be countersigned by the general manager of the company. The clause as worded does not appear upon its face to be illegal. I must however add that the whole question of the responsibility of this class of company for statements made by their agents is receiving attention.