HC Deb 12 November 1975 vol 899 cc815-6W
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he now intends to hold a departmental inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of Nation Life Insurance Company and the Stern Group.

Mr. Clinton Davis

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to inquiries under the Companies Acts 1948 and 1967.

Nation Life Insurance Company Ltd. was wound up by the court on 29th July 1974 and the Official Receiver has a duty under the Act to investigate its affairs. The ultimate holding company of what is described as the Stern Group is Wilstar Securities Ltd., which is now in voluntary liquidation. The voluntary liquidator is required to report, under the provisions of Section 334 of the Companies Act 1948, to the Director of Public Prosecutions if it appears to him that any individual has been guilty of any offence in relation to the company for which he is criminally liable.

I am advised that the power to appoint inspectors under the Companies Act 1948 cannot be used when a company is being wound up by the court. It would be inappropriate to make enquiries under Section 109 of the Companies Act 1967

the December issue of the monthly Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom for year 1974.