§ MR. LONSDALE
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Public Trustee under the Land Act of 1903, acting on the advice of counsel, has refused permission to trustees to invest in certain stocks which the Court of Appeal have decided come within the scope of the Land Act; and whether he is prepared to introduce a Bill to make clear and enlarge the powers of trustees in regard to investments.
I am informed by the Public Trustee that he has refused permission to trustees to invest in the stocks of foreign railway companies, and has also refused permission, in one particular case, to invest in the ordinary stock of a certain home railway company. Under Section 51 (1) (f) of the Act of 1903, the sufficiency of investments in railway stocks to realise the sum invested upon the termination of the trust shall be secured to the satisfaction of the Public Trustee. I am informed that, in a case decided last year, the Master of the Rolls while holding that the ordinary stocks of railway companies were not excluded from the consideration of the Public Trustee, stated that if he were Public Trustee it would be very difficult to persuade him that any such ordinary stock was secured in the sense indicated in the section. In the same case, the Court of Appeal in Ireland subsequently expressed concurrence in the opinion of the Master of the Rolls. In these circumstances, it does not appear to be necessary to introduce amending legislation.