HC Deb 14 June 1988 vol 135 cc115-6W
Mr. Blair

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) whether his Department was warned by the National Association of Security Dealers and Investment Managers about possible illegal trading by the Barlow Clowes group of companies prior to issuing a securities licence to it; and if he will make a statement;

(2) when his Department first knew that Barlow Clowes was operating in a manner likely to give concern to investors;

(3) whether his Department made any inquiry into the claims made by Barlow Clowes to investors that the income from funds invested in Gibraltar could be paid to them tax free.

Mr. Maude

My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State has today appointed Sir Godfray Le Quesne QC to carry out an investigation into the facts of his Department's handling of matters relating to the Barlow Clowes Group. He has the following terms of referenceOn behalf of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to investigate and establish the facts relating to the exercise by the Department of Trade and Industry since 1 January 1983 of its regulatory functions in respect of the carrying on of investment business by Barlow Clowes & Partners (a partnership) and its successors, Barlow Clowes & Partners Limited and Barlow Clowes Gilt Managers Limited, and, if appropriate, by Barlow Clowes International Limited, with particular reference to the need for licences under the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act 1958, the granting and renewal of such licences and the monitoring of the activities of the licence holder; and to provide a report as soon as possible to the Secretary of State.