§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many inquiries are being conducted by his Department into the affairs of private companies; how many such inquiries have been initiated in the past three years; and on what dates inquiry reports were published in the same period.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis
I assume my hon. Friend is referring to investigations under the Companies Act 1948. Inquiries into the affairs of 30 private companies have not yet been completed. Since 1st November 1972 inspectors have been appointed in 33 private companies, 13 of which are connected with inquiries into public companies. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to publish inspectors' reports on private companies unless there is a public interest or the inquiry is connected with another inquiry into a public company.
In addition, since 1st November 1972 inquiries under Section 109 of the Companies Act 1967 have been instituted in respect of some 350 private companies. I am not empowered to publish the information so obtained.