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A M Devereux Ltd

Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will seek an early meeting with the Official Receiver in companies liquidation with regard to the case of Messrs. A. M. Devereux Limited, in view of the continuing delay in resolving the liabilities of the company and making payment to the outstanding creditors.

A receiver for the debenture holder of A. M. Devereux Limited is in possession of the assets, and he is required to pay the preferential and debenture holder's claims. I am not in a position to intervene.

The Official Receiver, as liquidator of the company, cannot make any payments to the ordinary unsecured creditors until the receivership is completed and any surplus funds then remaining are paid over to him.

Is it not intolerable that one of my constituents, a former employee of this company, has already had to wait more than four years for the arrears of wages and holiday pay which are due to him? Is the Minister aware that as long ago as August 1974 the Official Receiver said that this case was almost completed, and yet we now have more difficulties emerging in correspondence and we are told that the Inland Revenue has created more difficulties? How much longer will this saga continue? Will the Minister bang a few heads together and get things moving?

I have already told the hon. Gentleman that I cannot intervene. If his constituent has any problems about the conduct of the Official Receiver, he has available to him recourse to the courts under Section 80 of the Bankruptcy Act. The receiver inherited a number of difficult accounting problems and he had to wait for the new accounts to be published. He hopes that those accounts will be finalised in three months' time.