HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 c2264
2. Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade why there are no adequate reports on many of his trading services to enable the Comptroller and Auditor General to form any opinion as to the state of the store accounts of these services; and what steps he is taking to put these accounts on a proper basis.

Mr. H. Wilson

While all the Board's trading accounts were sent to the Comptroller and Auditor General by the due date, it was not possible for the Board's examiners to complete their audit by that time, because of the scale and complexity of the accounts concerned. Any discrepancies in the unaudited accounts are corrected in the accounts for the year following. Every effort is being made to secure that future reports will be made available punctually.

Mr. Osborne

How great was the delay in getting these accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General, and how can the right hon. Gentleman be sure that his trading accounts are showing a profit or a loss if the store accounts are not adequate?

Mr. Wilson

In 1947 the time lag was 12 months. It was reduced to 5½ months in 1950, and we are trying to reduce it still further.