§ 24. Sir G. Nabarro
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is the practice of the Department of Trade and Industry, when a report is made under Sections 165 to 168 of the Companies Act, 1948, as amended, in which adverse criticisms are made of a person and a request is made by the person to make representations to the Department, to permit such representations to be made and to consider them.
§ Mr. Emery
Any request for representations where adverse criticism had been levelled at a person in a report made 987 under Sections 165 to 168 of the Companies Act, 1948, as amended, would be fully considered on its merits.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Having been considered, will it be reported? Is my hon. Friend not aware that in the case of Maxwell and Pergamon Press the High Court judge referred to the conduct of his Department as contrary to national justice? Can he therefore say whether the facts which he has enunciated in his reply were applied in the Maxwell and Pergamon Press case or otherwise?
§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
What is the practice of the Department as regards publishing these reports? Is my hon. Friend aware that it is apparently only in the idiosyncratic policy relating to publishing reports that the difficulty arises?
§ Mr. Emery
I accept immediately my hon. and learned Friend's remarks. The contents of the report are the responsibility of the inspectors. The Department's responsibility is to decide what action should be taken on the report. Obviously the defence of shareholders and consumers is uppermost in our minds.