§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many companies have failed to file annual returns for each of the years since such returns have been required by law; and how many prosecutions for failure to file such returns have been undertaken.
§ Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody:
Where companies are in default in filing annual returns, the Board of Trade tries to ensure that overdue returns are filed or, where the companies are not carrying on business, that their names are struck off the register. Prosecution is an aid to that 131W objective and not an end in itself. Annual returns have been required by law since 1844. The number of the companies which have failed to file annual returns is not available: the annual number of prosecutions and of companies struck off the register is given in the Companies General Annual Report. The report for 1969 has not yet been published: in that year the numbers were 146 and 18,725 respectively.