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Wednesday, 19 October 1949

Mr Harrison (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that Spring Valley Tin is controlled by Mr. Woolcott Forbes through a Mr. Noel Goodsir?

2.   Is it a fact that application was made to the Capital Issues Board relative to the capital of the company but that such application was refused; that the company was then divided into two holdings, Spring Valley Tin and Greenbush. the original Board of Directors being retained for each company; that the price of Spring Valley Tin shares was then boosted from 2s. (id. to 8s. 6d. a share; and that applicants for Spring Valley Tin shares were issued with only half the number of shares sought in that company and in lieu of the balance had to take shares in Greenbush ?

3.   Is it a fact that, following the division of Spring Valley Tin into two holdings, the Capital Issues Board wired the Stock Exchange and/or stockbrokers not to list Spring Valley Tin; that a member of the New South Wales Parliament then came to Canberra, ,saw an officer of the Capital Issues Board, and that, following this interview, Spring Valley Tin was reprimanded but was again listed on the Stock Exchange ?

4.   If so, will he have inquiries made to ascertain (a) who was the member of the New South Wales Parliament who made representations on behalf of Spring Valley Tin; (6) who was the officer of the Capital Issues Board whom he interviewed; (o) on what grounds did he interview this officer; and (d) why was the company again listed on the Stock Exchange ?

5.   Will the Treasurer ascertain how many original shareholders still hold Spring Valley Tin scrip, and the value of such scrip ?

6.   Will he inform shareholders, by public statement, whether Spring Valley Tin has made any report to shareholders since its flotation, and, if no report has been made, the reason why ?

7.   What is the present position of this company?

8.   Is it Still in existence as a going concern or is it defunct?

9.   Will he lay on the table the complete file of papers associated with Spring Valley Tin?

Mr Chifley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Mr. NoelGoodsir is a director of Spring Valley Tin Limited, but the Capital Issues Control has no information which would indicate that Mr. Woolcott Forbes controls the company.

2.   Following the refusal of consent, under the Capital Issues Regulations, to an issue of shares by Spring Valley Tin Limited, the promotors formed within the exemption limit allowed by the regulations, two companies known as Spring Valley Tin Limited and Greenbushes Tin Limited. The three directors of the original company were included on the boards of each of the two companies which were subsequently formed. No information is contained in the departmental file regarding any rise in the price of the shares or the manner in which shares were allotted in each company.

3.   The Capital Issues Regulations convey no power upon the Treasurer to prohibit the listing of shares on any stock exchange, but following an inquiry from the secretary of the Stock Exchange of Perth as to whether there was any Objection to the listing of the shares of these two companies and to unofficial dealings, pending listing, the secretary was advised that the Treasurer would prefer that neither listing nor unofficial dealings be allowed. It is a fact that a member of the New South Wales Parliament, interviewed an officer of the Capital Issues Board, but it is not a fact that immediately following that interview Spring Valley Tin Limited was granted listing on the Stock Exchange. 4. (a) The member of the New South Wales Parliament who, in his capacity as solicitor to the two companies, made further submission on behalf of Spring Valley Tin was Mr. Abram Landa. (b) He interviewed Mr. G. Hunter. (c) Mr. Landa submitted that the vendors' consideration could not be regarded as excessive because he understood' that the Mines Department of Western Australia and the Land Sales Control had approved the transaction. (d) The embargo on the listing of Spring Valley Tin shares was not removed until more than two months after Mr. Landa's visit to Canberra. This action was authorized by the Commonwealth Actuary as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Mineral Resources, which advised that, having regard to the company's prospects, the price paid for the mining leases held by Spring Valley Tin was reasonable. The embargo on the listing of the shares issued by Greenbushes Tin Limited has not yet been removed. 5,6, 7 and 8. No information is available regarding thematters raised in these four questions. .

9.   All the relevant facts in connexion with this matter have been disclosed in the above replies and no useful purpose would be served by laying the papers on the table.

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