The first amendment is amendment No. 51. Amendment No. 60 appears to be cognate and if the committee are agreeable I suggest that we take amendments Nos. 51 and 60 together.
I move amendment No. 51 :
In subsection (4), page 87, line 20, before " times " to insert " reasonable ".
This amendment merely proposes to insert the word " reasonable " before the word " times " in order to make sure that these accounts will be available for inspection at all reasonable times.
Amendments Nos. 52, 53 and 54 are cognate and I suggest that they can be taken together if there is no objection.
I move amendment No. 52 :
In subsection (5), page 87, line 35, after "£100 " to insert " or to both ".
Is this stepping up the penalties or imposing them?
Instead of having imprisonment or fines as alternatives, this amendment would permit the imposition of one or both; in other words, a period of imprisonment and a fine.
My query is, what is the present position? Is it a money fine or imprisonment or both?
There are no provisions in the law at present either for fines or imprisonment.
On this point?
On this point. The whole section is new.
How does this section stand with the old law?
The old law made no provision for keeping accounts. This is entirely new.
Subsection (3) provides that the books shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by the directors. Why is it considered necessary to say that they would be open to inspection? Surely that would be inherent in the organisation of the company? Would it not be taken for granted at the moment that the directors would have access to the accounts of the company?
Probably the principal purpose is to ensure that the responsibility of keeping books will be placed fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the directors.
So the purpose is that the directors cannot plead that they had not access.
Is this the same as the British law?
Yes, and the law in the Six Counties.
Is there anything in the section that differs in substance from the English provision?
To my recollection, they are identical. This was recommended by our own committee.
There is no definition of the word " proper ": " Every company shall cause to be kept proper books of account . . . "
There is no definition but you rely on subsection (2).
It is income and expenditure, sales and purchases and assets and liabilities.
Subsection (2) provides for a "true and fair view of the state of the company's affairs . . ." That is primarily what is meant by " proper ".
It is defined in subsection (2) in that sense—in that negative sense.