34. Mr. F. HALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade if the particulars furnished by him of companies which failed in the years 1908 to 1912, inclusive, to file the returns presented by the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, included all companies defaulting in this respect; if he will state the general grounds on which it is decided whether or not proceedings shall be taken in respect of such default; in regard to the companies struck off the register, in how many cases this step was taken at the request of the company; and whether the consent of the shareholders has to be obtained before this can be done?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)
The particulars of companies which failed to file returns in the years 1908 to 1912 include all defaults with regard to which. the companies concerned were circularised by the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies. They do not include cases in which defaults occurred and were remedied before any notice had been taken of them by the Registrar. The decision whether proceedings should be taken in respect of a default depends on the circumstances of the particular case. Proceedings are taken in the graver cases. It would involve a very considerable amount of labour to furnish the hon. Member with the number of cases in which companies were struck off the register at their own request, but. I shall be pleased to furnish him with the information with regard to any specified companies. Under Section 242 of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, the Registrar can take steps to strike the name of a company off the register where he has reasonable cause to believe that the company is not carrying on business or in operation, and it is not necessary to obtain the consent of the shareholders.
Mr. F. HALL
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman would consider favourably a new Clause putting the question of the Company Laws in such a position that really the desire of the Board of Trade could be carried out?