HC Deb 23 March 1961 vol 637 cc557-8
15. Mr. du Cann

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a further statement about Her Majesty's Government's proposals for regulating the solicitation of money deposits by companies from members of the public by advertisement and circulars.

22. Mr. Leather

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is yet in a position to make a statement regarding the control of companies soliciting money from the public without security.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Reginald Maudling)

Work on a Bill for the regulation of companies which invite deposits from the public is proceeding and it may be possible to introduce it later this Session.

Mr. du Cann

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. In view of the fact that legislation in the current Session of Parliament was promised over a year ago and in the meantime a large number of depositors have apparently lost money by investing in some of these companies, will he do his utmost to make absolutely certain that a Bill is brought forward in the current Session?

Mr. Maudling

I will proceed as fast as possible, but it is difficult to draft legislation to deal with this mischief without at the same time interfering with normal and proper methods of business.

Mr. Leather

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. Can he tell us whether in this Bill he will try to include not only the soliciting of money for deposits but, what is equally as bad and happens over a wide field, the soliciting of money for investments?

Mr. Maudling

I think the question of soliciting money for the sale or purchase of shares is covered by existing legislation and by the Jenkins Committee. Regarding deposits, it will certainly cover the whole field.

Mr. Leather

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in fact there are a number of small firms of stockbrokers, not in London but scattered over the provinces, who solicit money by post for very chancy investments, which is one of the abuses we are trying to stop?

Mr. Maudling

If my hon. Friend will let me have details, I shall be glad to look into the matter.

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