HC Deb 12 July 1976 vol 915 cc12-4
9. Mr. Wrigglesworth

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when the last accounts of Equity Enterprises Ltd. were lodged at Companies House.

Mr. Clinton Davis

Accounts were lodged on 29th November 1974 made up to 31st December 1973.

Mr. Wrigglesworth

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that the shares of this company have been suspended since April of last year and that many unanswered questions about this company remain, to which the shareholders and public would like to hear replies? Will the Minister ask Mr. David Frost and the other directors to make an early statement about the company's affairs?

Mr. Davis

I take note of what my hon. Friend said. At the present time no action is pending, save that unless the accounts are forthcoming within two weeks action will be prosecuted under Section 148.

Mr. Anthony Grant

On a more general point, is the Minister aware that there are too many firms which fail to record, in time or accurately, the statutory information required? This is of great inconvenience to the business community. Will he have a blitz on those firms?

Mr. Davis

We need more than a glimpse in respect of this, and we have at present a Bill in Committee—

Mr. Anthony Grant

A blitz.

Mr. Davis

A blitz. I am certainly in favour of having a blitz. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will have a word with his hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) to help expedite consideration of the Bill aimed at dealing with this precise problem.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Will the Minister look up the facts in his Department, which show that for about 15 years I have been trying to get progress in this respect? Will he arrange, through the normal channels, for sponsored Questions, to supply periodic answers, to show that hundreds, and possibly thousands, of companies are deliberately and daily dodging this law, so that we can get records put into Hansard—if Hansard can take it—of the thousands of companies doing this with impunity and, dare I say it, with the support of his Department?

Mr. Davis

My hon. Friend dare to say anything, and tends to do so from time to time, so I would not have thought that he required any stimulation from my Department to arrange Questions, having regard to his very considerable record in that respect over the 15 years to which he has referred.