§ 48. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give for the longest convenient stated period of time the number of occasions when he has been requested to investigate limited companies under the Companies Acts; which companies were involved; and what action he took in each instance.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody
I would refer my hon. Friend to the information given to him in reply to his Questions of404W 18th February. It is not the Board's practice to disclose the names of companies which they are requested to investigate.—[Vol. 798, c. 127–8.]
§ 49. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give complete details of the number of occasions he has been approached, and by whom, for investigations into matters connected with the administration and running of companies contrary to the Companies Acts of the following companies, namely, Hartley Bairds Limited, H. J. Baldwin Limited and Dollar Land Holdings Limited; what were the nature of the complaints made in each instance; and what action he has taken, or intends taking to inquire into these matters.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody
I apologise for the length of the Answer.
It is not the Board's practice to disclose the identity of a person who communicates with them about the affairs of a particular company without his consent.
As regards Dollar Land Holdings Ltd., the Board have been approached by 11 persons. As regards Hartley Baird Ltd. and H. J. Baldwin & Co. Ltd., it is not possible, without an undue expense of time and labour, to give precise figures, but the approximate figures are 550 and 360 respectively.
In the case of Dollar Land Holdings Ltd., the complainants have referred to the failure of the directors to lay accounts before the company in general meeting and to acquire their qualification shares and to matters of general management and have alleged that the directors have omitted to give members all the information about the company's affairs which they might reasonably expect.
As regards Hartley Baird Ltd. and H. J. Baldwin & Co. Ltd., the complainants have referred to the management of the companies' affairs and have alleged fraud or misfeasance and failure to give the members all the information about the affairs of the companies which they might reasonably expect.
The Board have concluded that they would not be justified in appointing inspectors under Section 165(b) of the Companies Act, 1948, to investigate the affairs of any of the three companies.
Applications under Section 164 of the Companies Act, 1948, for the appointment of inspector to investigate the affairs 405W of Hartley Baird Ltd. and H. J. Baldwin & Co., Ltd. were received on 18th March. These applications have been considered carefully and the Board have decided that they would not be justified in acceding to them.