§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware of the practice of certain solicitors and persons trading as professional official receivers getting the affairs of failing companies nominally under the control of a Court, but really under their own control, and retaining them there until they have absorbed 2055W the assets in payments to themselves; if he will ascertain from the Irish Court in which this abuse is now being practised the date upon which the Irish Provident Assurance Company was placed under the Court's jurisdiction; the amount of the victims' property so appropriated since by liquidator and solicitor, respectively; the gross amount distributed by them; and, if the Court has not decided to abandon the victims' property to those two officials, whether it will now release the property from their control and have a final distribution made of what remains?
§ Mr. DUKE
The practice suggested in the question is not known to exist with any solicitors in Ireland. The order for winding-up the Irish Provident Assurance Company was made on the 24th April, 1911, and no part of the assets of the company has been appropriated by the official liquidator or by his solicitor. The assets already realised and distributed amount to over £54,000. This case is one of exceptional difficulty, as the creditors number 26,000 and are scattered throughout the United Kingdom, and there are assets consisting of mortgages, payable by instalments, which cannot be realised as against the mortgagors so long as the instalments are regularly paid, and every effort is being made to wind-up the estate and if possible the mortgaged properties will be disposed of for that purpose.