—(1) Where it appears to the Minister that there is good reason to do so, he may appoint one or more inspectors to investigate and report on the membership of any corporation, whether or not it is a declared company, and otherwise with respect to the corporation for the purpose of determining the true persons who are or have been financially interested in the success or failure, real or apparent, of the corporation or able to control or materially to influence the policy of the corporation.
(2) The appointment of an inspector under this section may define the scope of his investigation, whether as respects the matters or the period to which it is to extend or otherwise, and in particular may limit the investigation to matters connected with particular shares or debentures.
(3) Where an application for an investigation under this section with respect to particular shares or debentures of a corporation is made to the Minister by members of the corporation, and the number of applicants or the amount of the shares held by them is not less than that required for an application for the appointment of an inspector under section 232, the Minister shall appoint an inspector to conduct the investigation unless he is satisfied that the application is vexatious, and the inspector’s appointment shall not exclude from the scope of his investigation any matter which the application seeks to have included therein, except in so far as the Minister is satisfied that it is unreasonable for that matter to be investigated.
(4) Subject to the terms of an inspector’s appointment, his powers shall extend to the investigation of any circumstances suggesting the existence of an arrangement or understanding which, though not legally binding, is or was observed or likely to be observed in practice and which is relevant to the purposes of his investigation.
(5) For the purposes of any investigation under this section, the provisions of this Part with respect to the investigation of declared companies shall apply with the necessary modifications of references to the affairs of the corporation or to those of any other corporation, but so that —
this Part shall apply in relation to all persons who are or have been, or whom the inspector has reasonable cause to believe to be or to have been financially interested in the success or failure or the apparent success or failure of the corporation or any other corporation the membership of which is investigated with that of the corporation, or able to control or materially to influence the policy thereof, including persons concerned only on behalf of others, as they apply in relation to officers and agents of the corporation or of the other corporation, as the case may be; and
the Minister shall not be bound to furnish the corporation or any other person with a copy of any report by an inspector appointed under this section or with a complete copy thereof if he is of opinion that there is good reason for not divulging the contents of the report or of parts thereof, but may, if he thinks fit, cause to be kept by the Registrar a copy of the report or, as the case may be, the parts of the report, as respects which he is not of that opinion.
[UK, 1948, s. 172; Aust., 1961, s. 177]