HC Deb 07 May 1958 vol 587 cc1363-4
Mr. H. Brooke

I beg to move, in page 39, line 27, to leave out from "that" to "(that" in line 28 and to insert: in the case of a local authority of which the treasurer at the passing of this Act is not a whole-time officer". Perhaps we could consider at the same time the next Amendment, in line 30, which is linked with this. There was some discussion in Committee about the case where the treasurer of a local authority is not a whole-time officer. We found means of dealing with that, but subsequent to the Committee proceedings the point was put to the Government that the Amendment made in Committee might induce certain authorities to slip away from the practice of having whole-time treasurers and perhaps encourage a less satisfactory arrangement.

The sole purpose of these two Amendments is to deal with that by providing that the arrangements for giving these duties to the chief financial officer instead of the treasurer should operate only in the case of an authority which does not have a whole-time treasurer at the time when the Bill becomes law. That is a desirable safeguard and will remove any temptation or inducement such as has been apprehended.

Mr. Mitchison

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but could the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the local authorities have been consulted on this matter and, if they have, whether they take the same view as he takes?

Mr. Brooke

Representations were made by one of the local authority associations and the Amendments will meet those representations. I could not say that all the associations were wholly in support of the Amendments, but I think it is broadly agreed that this will be an acceptable way of arranging matters.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 39, line 30, after "shall", insert: at any time when the treasurer is not a whole-time officer".—[Mr. H. Brooke.]