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Special Committee Companies Bill, 1962 debate -
Tuesday, 12 Mar 1963


I move amendment No. 53 :

In subsection (3), page 88, line 10, after "£100 " to insert " or to both ".

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed : " That Section 148, as amended, stand part of the Bill. "

This is a completely new section recommended by our own committee. The existing law does not impose any specific obligation on the company to prepare a profit and loss account and/or a balance sheet or to make it available to the members of the company.

I think it is general practice.

It is general practice.

The only question that arises here is how far this provision—I think it is covered later on—makes more explicit the form of the accounts. That comes in a later section but this section—it is a new section—simply gives effect to the general practice of having balance sheets and statements of accounts and directors' reports.

That is so, yes.

Is this the same as the British section?

It is very much the same. I think it may not be as liberal in regard to the period. I think they allow 12 months in the case of companies which have overseas transactions; that is just my recollection now.

Otherwise they require the accounts to be made up to a date within nine months. I am not quite sure, but it is quite a time lag. I think it is nine months. Of course, an account is much less useful to shareholders after such a lapse of time. It is only an historical document.

The nine months may appear to be rather long but, if it were shorter, there might be a danger that some companies could not comply with the law. In Britain it is nine months or, in the case of a company carrying on business abroad, 12 months.

Has the Minister any idea what it is in Northern Ireland?

Britain and Northern Ireland are the same. As well as that, there is a provision in both Britain and the Six Counties whereby the Board of Trade or the Minister of Commerce, as the case may be, can grant an extension of the time.

Question put and agreed to.