HC Deb 10 December 1964 vol 703 cc1807-8
17. Mr. Grant

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take to implement the recommendations of the Jenkins Report on Company Law.

65. Mr. William Clark

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce legislation implementing the recommendations of the Jenkins Report; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jay

Proposals for new company legislation, in which the recommendations of the Jenkins Committee will be taken fully into account, are in preparation. The legislation will not be introduced during the current Session.

Mr. Grant

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for what is a rather limited encouragement, may I ask if he will agree that in view of the great increase over the last 16 years in small investments and in the light of the new corporation and capital gains taxes, an early reform of the 1948 Act is very necessary?

Mr. Jay

Certainly. But we must take time to get the right answer to these very complicated questions.

Mr. Heath

In view of the fact that the Queen's Speech contained reference to legislation on only one aspect of company law, can the right hon. Gentleman confirm that he will be dealing with the whole broad field of company law and that he will press ahead as far as possible with it?

Mr. Jay

Certainly we are doing that, but I cannot promise legislation in the present Session.

Mr. Clark

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether in the next Queen's Speech mention will be made of the Jenkins Report? This is an urgent matter in view of the introduction of corporation tax. Will he look at this question again?

Mr. Jay

I cannot anticipate future Queen's Speeches.

Mr. Lubbock

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how much preparatory work was done by the previous Administration for the reform of company law?

Mr. Jay

Not as much as we propose to do in the next few months.