HC Deb 19 November 1973 vol 864 cc923-4
6. Miss Quennell

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek powers to ensure that, where private companies or businesses seek cash from the public, the full names of all directors or partners should appear on all paper used by the undertakings together with those of the company secretary and managing director or manager.

Sir G. Howe

I have this matter under consideration in the context of the Companies Bill.

Miss Quennell

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply, but may I point out that a private company can buy and use the name of an old-established and reputable company and on its notepaper not disclose the names of its directors and chief personnel, so that constituents are unable to detect from the personalities on the notepaper whether the company is old-established and experienced or a new one which is likely to lose their money?

Sir G. Howe

I appreciate the importance, from one point of view, of the point raised by my hon. Friend, but there is the other aspect, namely, the extent to which, by imposing an all-embracing obligation about disclosure and printing information on all company documents, one might be going too far in imposing impracticable and positively inconvenient burdens on the ordinary conduct of business. I shall, however, bear in mind what my hon. Friend said.