asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the case of the City Life Assurance Company, 6, Paul Street, Finsbury, E.C., which recently went into voluntary liquidation, he can state the nature of the company's liabilities and the assets, respectively; and what action, if any, has been taken to safeguard the interests of policy holders?
The liquidation was compulsory, not voluntary, and the Official Receiver is acting as provisional liquidator. Until the directors' statement of affairs has been filed it is not possible to furnish information regarding the company's assets and liabilities. In the meantime an offer has been received from another insurance company to take over the liability under certain of the policies which were issued by the City Life Assurance Company, and that offer is receiving the consideration of the Official Receiver.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great soreness both on the part of France and of Belgium at being continually over-bidden by Germany owing to her large British credits?
What action is the Department taking to safeguard policy holders? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that policy holders have paid anything up to over £100 and have no guarantee that their interests are safeguarded?
Is it a fact that a well-known company has already taken over a large number of these policies with a view to mitigating the loss which unfortunately so many have suffered?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I called the attention of the House to the fraudulent business methods of this company during the Insurance Debates, and that the hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) also warned the House and the country of the financial difficulties of this company?
Questions about a company which is in course of liquidation had better be put on the Paper. The answer to the first two supplementary questions is contained in the answer I have given.
The right hon. Gentleman ought to be able to tell us whether his Department is taking any interest in the matter and whether policy holders are to be safeguarded particularly under the provisions of the Industrial Insurance Act.
Then he will have heard the action which has been taken. There has been a compulsory winding-up order; the Official Receiver is acting as provisional liquidator; an offer has already been made by an insurance company to take over policies, and that is being considered by the liquidator.