asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is aware that the last General Annual Report prepared and issued by his Department in statutory compliance with Section 376 of the Companies Act, 1929, is dated 9th August, 1939, and covers the year ended 31st December, 1938; whether he will indicate the date on which it is proposed to resume publication; and whether it is proposed to cover each of the years from 1939 onwards.
Yes, Sir. For reasons of manpower and paper saving the publication of the report was suspended in 1939. My right hon. and learned Friend has given instructions for the printing of a report to cover the years 1939 to 1945, and it will be available shortly. For the year 1946 and onwards it is proposed to issue the report in its pre-war form.
Could my hon. Friend say whether the report will be available to Members of the House before the Companies Bill is discussed?
I am afraid I could no: say that, because I do not know when the Companies Bill will be discussed.
Does this mean that, in spite of the shortage of labour and paper, the hon. Gentleman's Department is able to issue all these reports?