Skip to main content

Clause 38—(Accounts And Audit And Statistics)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move, in page 41, line 46, at the end, to insert:

"(2) The statements prepared under subsection (1) of this section shall disclose the name of each company in which the Corporation hold any interest otherwise than by way of investment under this Part of this Act and the extent and nature of that interest."
This is a matter which we discussed at considerable length in Committee. Under subsection (1) the Corporation are under the obligation to:
"…keep proper accounts and other records and shall prepare…"
first of all, a statement of the accounts of the Corporation in respect of each financial year and in respect of the first financial year in which it is practicable to do so:
"…consolidated statement of accounts dealing with the state of affairs and profit and loss of the Corporation and the publicly-owned companies as a whole."
We propose the introduction of a subsection (2) to the effect that the statements prepared in subsection (1)—that is the statement of the accounts of the Corporation in respect of each financial year and the consolidated statement of account as soon as it is practicable for such an account to be produced—shall disclose the name of each company in which the Corporation hold an interest other than by way of investment under this part of this Bill; that is to say, otherwise than by virtue of Clause 36 which concerns the general power of investment.

What that means is that the accounts prepared under subsection (1) should disclose to this House and to the public the name of each company in which the Corporation hold any interest by way of their powers under subsections (1) and (2) of the new Clause 2 which the Minister introduced the other day. Under those provisions the Corporation have become in the main a holding company. Their duties are to hold all the ordinary share capital of the hundred and odd companies whose names are set out in the Third Schedule. But they are also empowered by the new subsections introduced by the right hon. Gentleman to acquire a controlling interest in companies carrying on business whose objects are included in the memoranda of association of the Third Schedule companies. We suggest that these statements of account issued annually by the Corporation should tell the House and the public the name not only of the Third Schedule companies, but of other companies the control of which the Corporation have acquired under the new subsections which have recently been introduced into the Bill.

Would the right hon. Gentleman tell us if it would be in accordance with the best commercial standards to publish that information?

The policy adopted in this Bill is to follow so far as can be the principles and procedure laid down in the Companies Act, 1948. That has been the general basis upon which these Clauses have been framed. Under the provisions of that Act, I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that no commercial company is required to disclose the information which the Amendment seeks to make it necessary to disclose.

They do, and here in the case of the Corporation there will be no difficulty in obtaining information as one can in the case of an ordinary commercial company. In fact, under the terms of Clause 49 (2) there is already an obligation which does not go quite so far as the obligation which the right hon. Gentleman seeks to impose upon the Corporation, but it does go some way towards it. It provides that the Corporation shall keep available a list of companies which are for the time being publicly owned companies. In substance, the phrase "publicly-owned companies" as defined in the Definition Clause means companies which are wholly owned within the group.

5.45 p.m.

Wholly owned within the group. That may be partly owned by one subsidiary of the Corporation and partly owned by another, but they must be wholly owned within the group. These are the only companies in connection with which it is obligatory upon the Corporation to keep a list under the provisions of the Bill. There is no reason in practice to suppose that there would be any difficulty about obtaining exactly the same information from the Corporation as one can obtain from any other company. However, my right hon. Friend would be willing, if you would grant permission, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, to make a change in Clause 49. He would be ready to move a manuscript Amendment which would provide wording which would go a good deal of the way towards meeting what is asked in this Amendment. My right hon. Friend will seek to move a manuscript Amendment in Clause 49, page 51, line 46, after the word "companies," to insert the words:

"and of the other companies (to be shown separately) which are for the time being subsidiaries of the Corporation."
That would bring in companies which are not wholly owned subsidiaries and which, therefore, are companies outside the present limit of the definition of publicly-owned companies. That seems to us to be a reasonable way of meeting the proposal. It does not go so far as to require the Corporation to set out the shareholding which they have in every single company, but it would bring into the ambit of the companies referred to in Clause 49 subsidiaries which are subsidiaries of the Corporation but not wholly owned subsidiaries. I hope that the House will agree that that is a perfectly reasonable and fair way of meeting the proposal which the right hon. Gentleman made in his Amendment.

I take it that there is not objection from any quarter of the House, and I imagine that there would be no difficulty in accepting the manuscript Amendment.

This suggestion goes some way towards meeting us on this point, but it does not go quite as far as I should have liked. The disclosure is to be confined to subsidiaries. Perhaps before the right hon. Gentleman moves his manuscript Amendment he will consider an Amendment which might include all companies in which the Corporation has a substantial interest. The Solicitor-General asks me to define that. We have got the words "substantial interests" in several places in the Bill already. We have been asked to swallow this description. I do not know whether I am accurate, but I think it would be true to say that, for instance, the British Government have not got a 51 per cent. interest in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, yet it is well known that that company is, in ordinary parlance, controlled by the Government or that its policy is very closely watched by His Majesty's Government.

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will look at my suggestion, because the dangers in all these matters lie, as I said of another Clause, where the Minister of Supply finds it difficult to dispose of surplus steel of a particular kind. He is then driven, as are a great many amateurs in these matters, to buy shipbuilding companies or tubular furniture companies in order to absorb the steel. That is the kind of activity which we have sought to prevent, but where it takes place we think that it ought to be disclosed. The manuscript Amendment, as I understand it, would only apply to subsidiaries. Gift horses are extremely rare in the stables of the right hon. Gentleman, and I would very much like not to look this particular nag in the mouth. Nevertheless, I will only look it in the mouth to the extent of asking if the Minister could not make it a little more thoroughbred than it is now by the disclosure of information about all the companies in which the Corporation has a controlling interest.

We have looked at this point made by hon. Members opposite, and we have gone a very long way to meet it. If we start to tackle the definition of a substantial or controlling interest, we shall get into all kinds of difficulties, and, legally, I am advised that we should arrive at an impossible situation to decide which of the subsidiaries will be in the list and subject to public scrutiny. I hope the Opposition will accept the Amendment which I have indicated, as it does go a very long way to meet their point.

I do not want to look a gift horse in the mouth either, as the right hon. Gentleman has been partially accommodating to us, and I rise only for the purpose of making a simple point. The Minister is going to produce this new information under Clause 49, which requires people to walk down the street to the principal offices of the Corporation in order to get the information. Considering how comprehensive are the accounts and reports which have to go through the procedure under Clause 38 of being presented to Parliament and subsequently published, could not the Minister agree to provide this additional information in the report and accounts, since it would scarcely add another page to the document and would keep the House of Commons and the members of the public fully informed of the state of affairs?

If I may speak again with the permission of the House, may I point out that there would be some hundreds of names? I think it is hardly necessary, since all these accounts and annual reports are presented to the House.

In view of what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move, in page 41, line 46, at the end, to insert:

"(2) The forms of the statements prepared under subsection (1) of this section shall be such as to secure the provision of separate information as respects each of the principal activities of the Corporation and the publicly-owned companies and to show as far as may be the financial and operating results of each such activity."
The purpose of this Amendment is to oblige the Corporation to disclose in its accounts whether the Corporation and the publicly-owned companies, taken as a whole, made a profit on each principal activity. I expect that hon. Members opposite will ask whether this is necessary in commercial practice, and I should be inclined to say that it is not, but we are here dealing with a vast variety of activities and a vast range of production far beyond the confines of any ordinary limited company. It is desirable in the public interest, which appeals to hon. Members opposite, that the broad categories in which this vast Corporation will carry on its activities should be disclosed to the public and to the House of Commons. The variety of production has often been stressed in this House, and it extends from Sydney Harbour Bridge to umbrella frames. It is undesirable that the losses, and perhaps the inefficiency in production, in any direction should be concealed by the Corporation charging very high prices for another part of its production without the knowledge of the nation, who are in fact to be the only shareholders in the Corporation.

I know the argument will be advanced that this will lead to great difficulties in accounting, but there is nothing whatever in that argument, which was used by the Minister in the proceedings in Standing Committee. Nor do we mean by "the principal activities of the Corporation" going down to the subdivisions of those activities, but, broadly speaking, to differentiate the ordinary broad categories into which steel production is divided. For instance, I do not suggest that we should require to know about all the different types of wire, but it is to the public interest that we should know whether the wire has been drawn at a profit, or whether, on the other hand, the constructional steel part of the business has been carried on at a profit, and that this information should not be covered up in an overcoat way.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman a question? I suppose he would not think that it would mean more form-filling and waste of manpower?

The hon. Member will be aware that even in a nationalised Corporation it is necessary to have some form of costing system and some guide as to what the Corporation are doing. This is merely a question of printing for the benefit of the public information which it is necessary that it should have.

The accounts are now to be produced by each constituent company, and the Government will be getting themselves into serious difficulty and lay themselves open to much criticism if they adopt the county agricultural executive committee technique in not stating what the costs are. I hope we shall be informed of these facts in respect of each one of these publicly-owned companies.

I really do not think that it would be wise to put this burden on the Corporation, and for a number of reasons which will commend themselves to all quarters of the House. First of all, it would be a very onerous task, and, though I will not say that this is a conclusive reason, it certainly is one that we must take into account. The principal activities are very considerable indeed. Secondly, it would mean that, with the large number of companies which are involved in carrying on these principal activities, we should probably have to re-organise the accounting and costing procedure of each one of a very large number of companies in order to get at the figures required. That would impose a very considerable burden on all these companies and on their accountants in making this change and coordinating their accounting and costing procedure to enable the Corporation to produce the figures required.

There is another reason which is also important. Is it really desirable that this public Corporation, which will have to compete with other countries in selling its products abroad, should publish from year to year all its costing information, and publish to the world exactly how much it costs for each product to be made in this country, as well as what changes are taking place? I doubt whether that is a wise thing to do. No company does it in the ordinary way of business, and no other organisation is asked to publish to the world exactly what its costs are in respect of all the major activities and of the products which it makes. For these reasons, I suggest that the proposal would not really lead to any greater satisfaction for the public. It would not give the House any useful knowledge, and it might be exceedingly harmful to the trading prospects of the Corporation and at the same time be a very substantial burden on the Corporation in accounting and costing.

I am entirely dissatisfied with the argument which the Minister has advanced, and among the numerous tenuous arguments which I have heard his was easily the most tenuous. The argument was, first, that it is too much trouble, and, secondly, that other companies do not do it. But other companies do not engage in activities as wide as this; yet, every year, limited companies have to produce profit and loss accounts. I feel that we must divide the House against that idea, and I would say that obscurantism and restriction are the two pillars upon which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to build his national Corporation.

Question put, "That those words be The there inserted in the Bill."

Division No. 122.]

AYES

[6.0 p.m.

Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Nicholson, G.
Amory, D. HeathcoatHarvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.Noble, Comdr. A. H. P
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C.Odey, G. W.
Astor, Hon. M.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Baldwin, A. E.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountPeto, Brig. C. H. M.
Barlow, Sir J.Hollis, M. C.Poole., O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Beechman, N. A.Hope, Lord J.Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Bennett, Sir P.Howard, Hon. A.Raikes, H. V.
Boothby, R.Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Ramsay, Maj. S.
Bossom, A. C.Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Bower, N.Hurd, A.Renton, D.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Jeffreys, General Sir G.Scott, Lord W.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Shephard, S. (Newark)
Bullock, Capt. M.Kerr, Sir J. GrahamSmith, E. P. (Ashford)
Butcher, H. WLambert, Hon. G.Snadden, W. M.
Carson, E.Lancaster, Col. C. GSpearman, A. C. M.
Challen, C.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S.Lindsay, M. (Solihull)Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.Lipson, D. L.Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)Studholme, H. G.
Cuthbert, W. N.Low, A. R. W.Sutcliffe, H.
Darling, Sir W. Y.Lucas, Major Sir J.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
De la Bere, R.Lucas-Tooth, S. H.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Digby, Simon WingfieldLyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Dodds-Parker, A. D.MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.Thorneycroft., G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Drewe, C.McCallum, Maj. D.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F
Eccles, D. M.McFarlane, C. S.Touche, G. C.
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. WalterMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)Turton, R. H.
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.Maclay, Hon. J. S.Tweedsmuir, Lady
Fletcher, W. (Bury)MacLeod, J.Vane, W. M. F.
Foster, J. G. (Northwich)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Walker-Smith, D.
Fox, Sir G.Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)Ward, Hon. G. R
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Manningham-Buller, R. E.Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.Marlowe, A. A. H.White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Marsden, Capt. A.White, J. B. (Canterbury.)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Marshall, D. (Bodmin)Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gammans, L. D.Maude, J. C.Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gates, Maj. E. E.Mellor, Sir J.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)Molson, A. H. E.York, C.
Glyn, Sir R.Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
Gridley, Sir A.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Grimston, R. V.Neven-Spence, Sir B.Major Conant and
Brigadier Mackeson.

NOES

Acland., Sir RichardBraddock, T. (Mitcham)Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Adams, Richard (Balham)Bramall, E. A.Davies, Harold (Leek)
Albu, A. H.Brook, D. (Halifax)Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Alpass, J. H.Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Brown, George (Belper)Deer, G.
Attewell, H. C.Brown, T. J. (Ince)de Freitas, Geoffrey
Austin, H. LewisBruce, Maj. D. W. T.Diamond, J.
Awbery, S. S.Burke, W. A.Dobbie, W.
Ayles, W. H.Byers, FrankDodds, N. N.
Ayrtan Gould, Mrs. BCallaghan, JamesDonovan, T.
Bacon, Miss A.Carmichael, JamesDriberg, T. E. N.
Balfour, A.Castle, Mrs. B. A.Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Chamberlain, R. A.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Barstow, P. G.Chetwynd, G. R.Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)
Barton, C.Cluse, W. S.Edwards, John (Blackburn)
Battley, J. R.Cocks, F. S.Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)
Bechervaise, A. E.Collick, PEvans, Albert (Islington, W.)
Benson, G.Collins, V. J.Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Beswick, F.Colman, Miss G. M.Evans, John (Ogmore)
Bing, G. H. CComyns, Dr. L.Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Binns, J.Corlett, Dr. J.Fairhurst, F.
Blackburn, A. RCove, W. G.Farthing, W. J
Blenkinsop, A.Crawley, A.Field, Capt. W. J
Boardman, H.Crossman, R. H. S.Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington. E.)
Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W.Cullen, Mrs.Follick, M
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)Daggar, G.Foot, M. M

The House divided: Ayes, 141; Noes, 297.

Forman, J. C.Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N. W.)Sharp, Granville
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)McKinlay, A. SShawcross, Rt. Hn Sir H (St. Helens)
Freeman, J (Watford)McLeavy, FShinwell, Rt. Hon E.
Ganley, Mrs C. S.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Shurmer, P
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)Mainwaring, W. H.Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Gibbins, JMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Gilzean, A.Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)Simmons, C. J.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Mann, Mrs. J.Skeffington, A. M.
Gooch, E. G.Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Goodrich, H. E.Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Skinnard, F. W.
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Mathers, Rt. Hon. GeorgeSmith, Ellis (Stoke)
Grenfell, D. RMedland, H. M.Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Grey, C. F.Mellish, R. J.Smith, S. H. (Hull. S.W.)
Grierson, E.Messer, F.Snow, J. W
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Middleton, Mrs. LSolley, L. J.
Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)Mikardo, IanSorensen, R. W
Guest, Dr. L. HadenMitchison., G. RSoskice, Rt. Hon. Frank
Gunter, R. JMonslow, W.Sparks, J. A
Guy, W. H.Moody, A. S.Steele, T.
Hale, LeslieMorgan, Dr. H. B.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hall, Rt. Hon. GlenvilMorris, P. (Swansea, W.)Stokes, R. R.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Lewisham. E.)Strauss. Rt. Hon G. R. (Lambeth)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Mort, D. L.Stross, Dr. B.
Hardman, D. R.Moyle, A.Stubbs, A. E.
Hardy, E. A.Murray, J. D.Swingler, S.
Harrison, J.Naylor, T. E.Sylvester, G. O.
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleNeal, H. (Claycross)Symonds, A. L.
Haworth, J.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A (Kingswinford)Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hicks, G.Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Holman, P.Oldfield, W. HThomas, D. E (Aberdare)
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Oliver, G. HThomas, George (Cardiff)
Horabin, T LOrbach, M.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Houghton, A L N DPaling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Thurtle, Ernest
Hoy, J.Palmer, A. M. F.Timmons, J.
Hubbard, T.Pargiter, G. A.Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W)Parker, J.Turner-Samuels, M.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)Parkin, B. T.Vernon, Maj. W F
Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton. W)Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)Viant, S. P.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Paton, J. (Norwich)Walker, G. H
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Pearson, A.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)Pezet, T. FWallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)Perrins, W.Warbey, W. N.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. APiratin, P.Webb, M. (Bradford, C)
Janner, B.Popplewell, EWeitzman, D.
Jay, D. P. T.Porter, E. (Warrington)Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
John, WPorter, G. (Leeds)Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Johnston., DouglasPrice, M. PhilipsWest, D. G
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)Pritt, D. N.Wheatley, Rt. Hn. J. T. (Edinb'gh. E.)
Jones, Jack (Bolton)Proctor, W. T.White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Pryde, D. J.Whitely, Rt. Hon. W
Kenyon, C.Pursey, Comdr. H.Wigg, George
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr ERandall, H. E.Wilcock, Group-Capt. C A B
Kinley, J.Ranger, J.Wilkins, W A
Kirby, B VRees-Williams, D. RWilley, O. G. (Clevaland)
Lang, G.Reeves, J.Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. JReid, T. (Swindon)Williams. J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Rhodes, H.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Leonard, W.Ridealgh, Mrs. MWilliams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Leslie, J. RRobens, A.Williams, W. T (Hammersmith, S.)
Levy, B. WRoberts, Emrys (Merioneth)Williams, W. R (Heston)
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Willis, E.
Lewis, J. (Bolton)Roberts. W (Cumberland, N)Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H
Lewis, T. (Southampton)Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)Wise, Major F. J.
Lipton, Lt.-Col. MRobinson, K. (St. Pancras)Woodburn, Rt. Hon A
Logan, D. G.Rogers, G. H. R.Wyatt, W
Lyne, A. W.Ross, William (Kilmarnock)Yates, V F
McAdam, W.Royle, C.Young, Sir R (Newton)
McAllister, G.Sargood, R.Younger, Hon. Kenneth
McEntee, V. La T.Scollan, T.Zilliacus, K.
McGhee, H. GScott-Elliot, W
Mack, J. D.Segal. Dr STELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McKay, J. (Wallsend)Shackleton, E A AMr. Joseph Henderson and
Mr. Collindridge.

It being after Six o' Clock, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Order, successively to put forthwith the Questions on the Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given to that part of the Bill to be concluded at Six o'Clock at this day's Sitting.

Amendments made: In page 42, line 3, at end, insert:

"and the auditors shall make a report on the accounts examined by them and on the state- ments of accounts prepared under the preceding subsection, and the report shall contain statements as to the matters mentioned in the Schedule to this Act (Matters to be expressly stated in Auditors' Report)."

In line 19, leave out "any," and insert "the."

In line 20, leave out "statements," and insert "copies."

In line 25, leave out "statement," and insert "copy."

In line 32, leave out "any," and insert "the."

In line 34, leave out from first "of," to "shall," and insert:

"every statement, account and report required to be sent to the Minister under this subsection."

In line 36, leave out "those statements and reports," and insert "every such statement, account and report."—[ Mr. G. R. Strauss.]