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Companies Act, 1948 (Private Companies)

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will introduce legislation to amend section 129(4) of the Companies Act, 1948, whereby private companies are at present exempt from public financial scrutiny.


asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he intends to take to reduce the privileges of exempted private companies.

I would ask my hon. Friends to await the proposals I shall be making for new companies legislation.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his Answer, may I express the hope that this legislation will not be too long delayed? Does he consider that it should include provision to require private companies of this character to file their accounts and records with the Registrar of Companies at Bush House?

I can assure my hon. Friend that I shall take special note of his views on this subject.

Would the right hon. Gentleman recognise that in making this recommendation the Jenkins Committee had in mind the interests of creditors and not that private affairs should be exposed to the public gaze? Would he undertake to bear in mind and to include in the legislation the two exemptions which the Committee recommended in its recommendations on this subject?

In preparing his proposals, will my right hon. Friend give very careful consideration to the activities of the Service Group of companies which, because of the legal loophole existing in the regulations, appear to have developed a very lucrative racket out of hiring out non-existent launderettes?