Messrs. James and Shakespeare, LTD. (Inquiry).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 21st February 1935.

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Photo of Colonel Harry Nathan Colonel Harry Nathan , Bethnal Green North East

53.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any inquiry by way of examination of the directors and/or other officers of James and Shakespeare, Limited, will be in private or open to the public; and whether the report of the official receiver or other liquidator of that company will be a private document or will be available to the general public?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

The inquiries of the official receiver in pursuance of his duties under Section 182 of the Companies Act will be conducted in private. Copies of any reports made by him under this section will be placed upon the court file, and any shareholder or any creditor whose claim has been admitted will be entitled to inspect the file and to take copies.

Photo of Colonel Harry Nathan Colonel Harry Nathan , Bethnal Green North East

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that that sort of inquiry, which is limited both as to publicity and scope, is satisfactory to the public, in view of the public anxiety on the matters into which inquiry is to be made?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

I hesitate to express any view on that subject until this inquiry has been concluded.

Photo of Colonel Harry Nathan Colonel Harry Nathan , Bethnal Green North East

As the public will have no oportunity of taking part in the inquiry or of seeing the report of the inquiry, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it is expedient that a public inquiry should be held without delay, more especially in view of the fact that it is unlikely that the official receiver's report will be made for many months to come?

Photo of Mr John Wilmot Mr John Wilmot , Fulham East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to a question asking for a public inquiry, referred to the inquiry by the official receiver into the affairs of this company in liquidaton; and, having regard to the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will he take some steps to make this report available to the wider public in view of the public scandal involved?

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

May we have an answer to these questions?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

The answer is a very brief one. It is; No, Sir.