HC Deb 08 May 1972 vol 836 cc898-9
23. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultations he has held with officials of the Bank of England in regard to the efficiency of joint stock company management; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Davies

My Department will remain in touch with the Bank on this as on other matters of common interest. My hon. Friend will of course recall the initiatives announced by the CBI and the Governor on 15th March.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is there not a danger that if certain institutional shareholders or their nominess are given special access to company managements or to confidential information two classes of share holder will develop? Would it not be better to introduce some form of management audit by getting the non-executive directors to perform a more positive function?

Mr. Davies

My hon. Friend will of course realise that the work contemplated by the CBI specifically concerns non-executive directors. The two studies are therefore proceeding in parallel but in close sympathy, and they should produce the kind of information which should be useful in seeing how the future can best be organised.