HC Deb 21 February 1935 vol 298 cc527-8
53. Major NATHAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any inquiry by way of examination of the directors and/or other officers of James and Shakespeare, Limited, will be in private or open to the public; and whether the report of the official receiver or other liquidator of that company will be a private document or will be available to the general public?


The inquiries of the official receiver in pursuance of his duties under Section 182 of the Companies Act will be conducted in private. Copies of any reports made by him under this section will be placed upon the court file, and any shareholder or any creditor whose claim has been admitted will be entitled to inspect the file and to take copies.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think that that sort of inquiry, which is limited both as to publicity and scope, is satisfactory to the public, in view of the public anxiety on the matters into which inquiry is to be made?


I hesitate to express any view on that subject until this inquiry has been concluded.


As the public will have no oportunity of taking part in the inquiry or of seeing the report of the inquiry, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it is expedient that a public inquiry should be held without delay, more especially in view of the fact that it is unlikely that the official receiver's report will be made for many months to come?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to a question asking for a public inquiry, referred to the inquiry by the official receiver into the affairs of this company in liquidaton; and, having regard to the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will he take some steps to make this report available to the wider public in view of the public scandal involved?


May we have an answer to these questions?


The answer is a very brief one. It is; No, Sir.

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