HC Deb 01 November 1932 vol 269 cc1601-3

asked the Attorney-General whether the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy has forwarded to him the report of the liquidator appointed under the compulsory winding-up order against Waring and Gillow, Limited; and, if so, whether the Law Officers of the Crown will investigate the facts disclosed to ascertain whether the published accounts of the company for the five years 1925 to 1930 informed trade creditors of the true position of the company's operations?

24. Mr. POTTER

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the report of the Official Receiver in connection with the affairs of Waring and Gillow, Limited; and whether, having regard to the disclosures by the Official Receiver in respect thereof, he will consider directing the attention of the Public Prosecutor thereto?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)

I am not aware of the existence of any reports by the Official Receiver or by the liquidator; indeed, my information is that a liquidator has only just been appointed by the Court. At the proper time it will be the duty of the Official Receiver to make a Preliminary Report to the Court under Section 182 (1) of the Companies Act, 1929, as to the causes of failure and the desirability of further inquiry, and he may also, if he thinks fit, make a further report under Sub-section (2) of that Section on any matters which in his opinion it is desirable to bring to the notice of the Court. When these reports have been made the Companies Act empowers the Court to give further directions in certain events. Until these reports have been made it is premature for me to consider any action.


Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider at a suitable date taking action in this case?


I will consider the whole matter when it is appropriate for me to give it consideration.


Is not the right hen and learned Gentleman aware of the statement made by the liquidator, which found its way into the London "Times," which indicated that the original business of the firm was still profitable, but that subsidiary undertakings in whch the chairman had no right to indulge were responsible for losses; and in these circumstances, and in the interests of the investors, does he not think that he ought to urge upon the appropriate authority the necessity for a thorough investigation?


A thorough investigation will be made in accordance with the duties required of the liquidator who has been appointed.


Is it not the fact that a committee has been formed by the shareholders themselves and that it is sitting now to investigate these matters, and is it not very unfair to prejudge things?


I saw a report in the Press two or three days ago to the effect that a committee has been appointed.