HC Deb 27 June 1973 vol 858 cc346-7W
Mr. Harold Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the liquidation of Williams Harvey and Company earlier this month, the prospects of maintaining production and employment in the tin smelter at Kirkby, near Liverpool, the circumstances of the takeover bid for Consolidated Tin Smelters Ltd. in 1972, the activities in all these respects of an overseas controlling company namely Patino NV; and whether he will now reverse his Department's decision rejecting a proposal for an inquiry under the Companies Act 1948.

Mr. Peter Walker

Consolidated Tin Smelters Ltd. anounced on 8th June that in view of heavy and continuing losses its wholly-owned subsidiary Williams Harvey and Company Ltd. would go into a creditors' voluntary liquidation. The business is now operating under the control of the liquidator. I understand that he is looking carefully into the possibility of keeping the smelters operating. My Department is keeping in close touch with developments. On the basis of the evidence currently available to me, I can see no grounds for investigating these companies under the powers conferred on me by the Companies Acts.