§ Mr. Bruce
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will consider making ex gratia payments to compensate clients of City Investment Centres who dealt with the company during the period after his Department's inspector had gone into the company and before his Department closed the company down on 7 November 1986.
§ Mr. Howard
Much as I sympathise with the people in question, I do not consider that there are grounds for ex gratia payments. The institution of confidential inquiries does not necessarily mean that the firm in question is unsound.