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Exempt Private Companies

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how many exempt private companies have been registered in the last 12 months for which figures are available, and for the immediately preceding 12 months.

Exempt private companies are not registered as such and exemption is often not claimed until many months after incorporation. The number of private companies registered in 1959 was 28,989, in 1960, 34,058, and in the first ten months of 1961, 28,365. On past experience some four out of every five companies on the register file exemption certificates in due course.

is not my right hon. Friend aware that one of the conclusions which one is forced to draw from these figures is that the opportunities deliberately to mislead the public are increasing every day? In view of the fact that there still seems to be no prospect of the Jenkins Committee reporting in the foreseeable future, will not my right hon. Friend now take steps to redeem the Government's promise to introduce legislation during this Session to deal with the more obvious abuses in company law?

I do not agree with the conclusion which my hon. Friend chooses to draw from my answer. The Jenkins Committee is working hard, and I do not think that it will be so very long before it is able to produce its report. In the circumstances, I do not agree with the third part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question.