HC Deb 01 April 1930 vol 237 cc1063-4
22. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to recent attempts to deprive foreign shareholders in British companies of the rights of directorial representation and management that properly belong to them; and whether he will consider amending the company laws to prevent this?


My attention has been called to this question, but, as at present advised, I do not see any reason to intervene.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Does my right hon. Friend know that in this case, not only are the foreign shareholders being put in a disadvantageous position, but that in this action British shareholders are being deprived of their rights; and will he have this matter looked into from the legal point of view, with the object, if necessary, of amending the principal Act?


I have innumerable matters arising out of the Companies Acts before me, but, as I have told the House, I cannot promise an extension of legislation in that field at the present moment. I can only say that I will keep these matters constantly before me.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these changes made by British companies are discouraging Americans from putting money into this country just when we need cheap capital?


I know that there is a great deal of controversy both ways, but there are various steps that can be taken by companies themselves as regards the rights of various parties of shareholders, and I am afraid that, beyond watching it, I cannot promise legislation.


Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to let it be known to these companies that this is not in the interests of British industry?