HC Deb 09 June 1921 vol 142 cc2054-5
74. Sir W. BARTON

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount held in shares by the Government in the British Dyestuffs Corporation, Limited; what the Treasury value these shares at to-day; and whether the directors appointed by the Government to the board of this company are satisfied with the technical management and organisation, and with the general condition and progress of the corporation?


As stated in the Return of Government Investments presented in 1920 (No. 180), the Government holding in the British Dyestuffs Corporation consists of 850,000 £1 preferred ordinary shares and 850,000 preferred shares, both fully paid. At current market quotations, the value of these shares would amount to about £580,000, but in view of the existing depression in the textile industries and the consequent lack of demand for the Corporation's products, I do not think that current quotations can be regarded as affording any adequate indication of the ultimate value of the investment. As regards the last part of the question, I am informed that recent changes indicate that, whilst substantial progress had been made in a task of great difficulty, the board of the company were not entirely satisfied with the position. The Government directors were in full accord with their colleagues as to the necessity of taking every possible measure to secure greater efficiency in the conduct of the undertaking, and steps have been adopted to that end.


Is the Government in control of this concern? Does it hold a controlling number of shares?


No, it does not.


Is it a fact that the shares have depreciated?


I am not perfectly acquainted with the market quotations.