share at a really cheap price.
Your directors have decided not to issue a balance sheet this year. We find it only encourages creditors.
The Profit and Loss Account. Mr. Harris . . . have you got a copy of the Profit and Loss Account . . . What ... We daren't . . . This puts me in a very awkward position, you know. Ladies and gentlemen, I am afraid there is no copy of the Profit and Loss Account. It is a very one-sided document, anyway. I feel we would be quite in order if we take it as read; we did with all the subsidiary companies, Mr. Harris. Yes, we will take it as read. It is not worth bothering about really.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, although we have so little to show, we also have very little to hide. In fact, there is very little of anything, and that is the difficulty. There is, however, one bright spot in our year's trading, and that is the splendid sales drive of Mr. Dwindle, our head salesman, who has pushed forward in conjunction with our zinc factory in South Wales. With his staff of thirty expert salesmen, he has sold two one-ounce pots of zinc ointment to two separate and well-known firms of retail chemists; well . . . when I say sold, perhaps I should say sale or return. But although we have had the zinc ointment back, I do feel Mr. Dwindle has struck a very real blow for the firm's zinc interest in South Wales. I think we could rightly say it was a Crusade in Zinc Ointment.
  I cannot conclude the meeting without passing a vote of thanks to the office staff. He is getting on in years now, and I am sure he would be glad of anything that was passed his way. Some shareholder wrote in about arrears of salary, and I would like to say that only last week his directors presented him with a silver teapot. Well, when I say silver—a good strong teapot.
And now all there remains for me to do is to read your auditors' report. As you know, the auditors are Liphook, Liphook, Dogsbody & Liphook. They are automatically up for re-election this year, and as they are one of the most unreliable firms in the City we will no doubt re-elect them. We'll have a show of hands on that afterwards. In their report they say that this report is correct in every detail with the exception of the figures. But in their opinion, business, if any, is on the incline, which I think you will agree is a very favourable thing for any firm of auditors to say in these difficult times. If I may be allowed to conclude this meeting with a metaphor, I would remind you of the man who built his house upon the sand, and the man who built his house upon the rocks, because this firm is not only built on the rock, but is deeply embedded in the rocks, and everything about this firm is of good report and sound and secure.
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