HC Deb 05 April 1971 vol 815 cc28-9
34. Dr. Gilbert

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will now require members of the Accepting Houses Association to publish full accounts.

Sir J. Eden

No, Sir. But I am keeping under review the position of these banks as shown by the full accounts which are supplied to the Department through the Bank of England.

Dr. Gilbert

Is it not a continuing scandal that these private merchant banks, in this day and age, can accept money from the public on deposit and not have to reveal their true accounts? At least we have got around to requiring the joint stock banks to do so. Why should these entrenched citadels of privilege in the City not have to publish accounts?

Sir J. Eden

There is a balance of advantages and disadvantages here. That is why we shall keep a close watch on the matter.

Mr. Douglas

Would the right hon. Gentleman examine his answer in the light of his right hon. Friend's Budget Statement, as we are searching for a more qualitative means of controlling monetary supply?

Sir J. Eden

Yes. This is one of the reasons why we shall keep the matter under review.