HC Deb 03 December 1973 vol 865 cc894-5
11. Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what further consultations he still intends to undertake regarding the proposed Company Law Reform Bill.

The Minister for Trade and Consumer Affairs (Sir Geoffrey Howe)

I shall continue to undertake extensive consultations both before and during the passage of the Bill.

Mr. Meacher

Will there not be further consultations, in view of the disastrous mishandling of investment banking by London and County Securities? Is it not clear that this company deliberately played upon public uncertainty—

Mr. Speaker

Order. There is a Private Notice Question later on this matter.

Mr. Meacher

Does that mean that I am not entitled to raise this matter at all?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is entitled to, but he will probably lose any chance of catching my eye on the Private Notice Question.

Mr. Meacher

In view of the difficulty of catching your eye later, Mr. Speaker, I shall proceed. Did not this company take advantage of public uncertainty about its property valuations and other reserves to borrow extensively from other financial institutions to lend to unquoted companies about which it knew little or nothing? How does the White Paper erase this wart from the face of capitalism?

Sir G. Howe

I make no comment on the questions raised by the hon. Gentleman on the company. In considering the preparation of the Bill we shall take account of whatever lessons are to be learned from whatever case may arise.

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