HC Deb 05 December 1946 vol 431 c629

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Eccles

I think this Clause wants looking at. As I understand it, if the Treasury find that somebody owed a sum of money in another country, and his debtor said, "Take this house in exchange for the debt", the Treasury can seize the house and give the creditor whatever sum they like for that property. Very often a debtor parts with some property to settle his debt, and that property is in a bad state. It may not be sold there and then. Why should the Treasury have the power to take it over at their own valuation at once? I think it necessary to know that in administering the Clause the Treasury will have due consideration to the particular piece of property the debtor is being given, and whether it is right to sell at once. Otherwise, we might find, not only that the man would get less than his debt, but the country would suffer, if an intelligent view were not taken.

The Solicitor-General

I can give the assurance for which the hon. Member asks, that in disposing of any asset taken over the Treasury will act reasonably in the matter, not to incur any avoidable loss.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.