Securities (Offers to Sell).

Oral Answers to Questions — Russia. – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1925.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

18.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that certain firms are circularising the public and sending round the country experienced salesmen to sell securities which have no ascertainable value; and will he bring the matter be-bore the Departmental Committee now sitting to consider the amending of the Companies' Act with a view to protecting unsuspecting persons who are parting with their money for worthless securities or for securities at a price considerably over their market value?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

My attention has been drawn to statements in the Press relating to this matter. If the facts are as stated in the warnings published in the Press, investors would be well advised to exercise extreme caution. Persons invited to purchase these shares will no doubt consider how far the standing of the firms concerned and the method adopted for offering the shares are calculated to inspire confidence in the value of the shares. I will bring my hon. Friend's question to the notice of the Departmental Committee, who have already had some evidence before them bearing on the subject.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Will the right hon. Gentleman expedite the inquiry, and consider what immediate steps can betaken to warn people of the methods of these persons?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

With regard to expediting the inquiry, it is being conducted by very busy and very able people, and I would rather go a little more slowly, and get a considered judgment from the ablest and most experienced people than that there should be a hurried Report.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the meantime the public are being approached in a questionable way?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

I rather hoped that the answer I have given would be as good a warning to the public as anything that could be done.