4 and 5.
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) the number of public companies which, on 1st November, 1930, had not complied with the requirements of the Companies Act, 1929, to lodge annual accounts and balance sheets for the 12 months which expired on 31st December, 1929;(2) the number of public companies which, on 1st November, 1930, had not complied within the period prescribed by the Companies Act, 1929, with the requirements to lodge annual accounts and balance sheets in respect of the 12 months ended 30th June, 1930?
The provisions of the Companies Act which the hon. and gallant Member appears to have in mind require a company to make an annual return once in every calendar year and forward it to the Registrar together with, in the case of a public company, a copy of the last audited balance sheet. The number of public companies which had not on 1st November filed their annual return for 1929, including the last audited balance sheet, was 19. I may add that none of these companies can be said to be of any public importance.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a test by means of an automatic diary is operated by the Companies Registration Department of Somerset House to detect non-compliance with the Companies Act of 1929 as to the filing of accounts and balance sheets within the prescribed period; and, if there is not a continuous test for the protection of the public, will he ask the life assurance offices committee to assist him to set up a suitable system based upon their methods for issuing reminders of premiums due on policies?
A system of the kind indicated in the question is in operation as regards public companies registered on or after the 1st January, 1929, and the possibility of extending it will be considered in the light of experience, but the requirements of the Act are not such as to enable the Registrar to determine in the case of every company from the information in his possession the date on which the annual return is due to be filed.