HC Deb 21 April 1931 vol 251 cc784-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will now summon the Wilfrid Greene Committee and ask them to provide amendments to remedy the defects in the Companies Act, 1929, so as to prevent a recurrence of the practices disclosed in the Hatry and Royal Mail disasters, and in the liquidation of certain companies floated during the boom period of 1928–29?


If the hon. and gallant Member will specify the practices which he has in mind and which he considers could be prevented by legislation, the points will be noted for investigation when the desirability of amending the Companies Act is under consideration.


Will not the right hon. Gentleman consider setting up another Committee to deal with this matter?


There was a Committee prior to the passing of the Act in 1929. I have already informed the House that I am collecting all the representations made, and they will be considered and, if necessary, put on the Table.

16. Sir B. FALLE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, seeing that the methods by which the earnings and losses of subsidiaries forming the main assets of a parent, company are disclosed provide no protection to shareholders of parent public companies operating under the 1929 Act or under a Royal Charter, he intends to allow the revealed defects both in the provisions of the 1929 Act and in the general terms of a Royal Charter with regard to published accounts to continue any longer un-amended?


I should prefer to await the results' of the investigations which are proceeding in the particular case which the hon. and gallant Member doubtless has in mind before expressing any opinion as to the desirability of considering any amendment of the law.