§ Mr. REES
asked whether, having regard to the magnitude of the losses of the public, the important questions involved, and the injury done to the best interests of the legal and insurance world by any policy capable of conveying any suggestion of secrecy, the Government is prepared by any means to institute a full and adequate public investigation into the causes of and responsibility for the failure of the Law Guarantee Trust and Accident Society?
I am asked by my right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Home Department to answer this question. The only means provided by law for an official investigation into the affairs of a company in liquidation is the inquiry which is Conducted by the Official Receiver into the affairs of every company which is ordered to be wound up by the Court. The powers and duties of the Official Receiver do not, however, arise until an order for winding up by the Court has been made. In the case of the Law Guarantee Trust and Accident Society, I understand that the making of such an order for winding up by the Court was opposed by the shareholders, and, as a result, the voluntary liquidation was continued. The company has consequently not come before the Official Receiver. The Board of Trade have no power to institute an investigation as suggested by my hon. Friend's question.
If it comes before us in the ordinary operations of law. At all events, we have no power otherwise.