HC Deb 20 June 1939 vol 348 cc1992-3
7. Sir W. Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in connection with the licence granted to Mr. Buchman's association to be designated as the Oxford Group, he will insist on an audited balance sheet being produced without delay, of all sources of receipts and all details of expenditure since the formation; and will he place a copy of the audited accounts in the Library of the House?

Mr. Stanley

The effect of incorporation under the Companies Act, 1929, will be to place the Oxford Group in the same position with regard to accounts as any public company incorporated under the Act, in that it will be required to lay before its members in general meeting an income and expenditure account and an audited balance sheet not later than 18 months after incorporation, and subsequently once at least in every calendar year. A copy of the audited balance sheet is required to be included in the annual return of the company, which must be filed with the Registrar of Companies, and documents so filed are available for public inspection. I see no reason for imposing exceptionally on the association any condition beyond these statutory obligations.

Sir W. Smithers

Does not my right hon. Friend think it would be advisable, in view of the criticisms which have been made in this House, that an opportunity should be given, and, if possible, taken, of either substantiating or refuting those criticisms?

Mr. Stanley

I am not prepared to treat these people in any exceptional manner; they will have to fulfil the ordinary obligations attaching to any public company. With regard to any allegations that may have been made, if such allegations have been made by subscribers to the fund I should have thought that the obvious course would be for the subscribers themselves to ask that an account should be sent to them.

Mr. Mathers

Will the same publicity be given to the financial transactions of the political party to which the hon. Member belongs?