HC Deb 30 June 1919 vol 117 c653W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that a Japanese shipping company has opened an office in Leadenhall Street, London, and is carrying on business under the title of Taiyo Kaiun Kaisho (Ocean Transport Company, Limited), which name is exactly the same as that of a British company, namely, the Ocean Transport Company, Limited, of la, Cockspur Street, London, S.W. 1, which has been established in England for nearly a quarter of a century; whether it is permissible for a foreign company not only to establish itself in this country, but to conduct a similar business under the same title as that of an existing British company duly registered under the Companies Acts; and, if so, what steps, if any, he proposes to take to prohibit such action on the part of foreign companies?


I understand that an individual of the name of H. Matika has opened an office at 34, Leadenhall Street, as agent for the Japanese company referred to in the question, but that there is some doubt whether the agency constitutes the establishment of a place of business by the Japanese company within the meaning of Section 274 of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908. There is no provision in the Companies Acts which prevents a foreign company, the English translation of whose name corresponds to the name of an English company, from carrying on business in this country, but any foreign company to which Section 274 applies and which uses the word "Limited" as part of its name must exhibit conspicuously at the place where it carries on business and have mentioned on its bill-heads, letter paper, and other business documents the name of the company and of the country in which the company is incorporated. As at present advised, I do not think there is any necessity for an amendment of the law.