§ 30. Mr. Peyton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to widen the powers and discretion of trustees as regards investments.
§ 37. Mr. Ridsdale
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when it is intended to introduce further legislation to broaden the basis of trustee investment.
§ The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Anthony Barber)
A review of the whole question is now well advanced. But this is a subject which affects many interests, and I cannot say with complete certainty when the Government's intentions will be announced. I hope, however, that it will be possible to say something more quite soon.
§ Mr. Peyton
My hon. Friend will be aware that the announcement, which has been awaited for a long time, is in pursuance of an undertaking given by the Government a number of years ago. Could he realise that there is a great hope that when it comes it will be good?
§ Mr. Barber
I am well aware of the hope my hon. Friend has expressed. I will only say that I hope it will not be long before an announcement can be made. However, I am sure he will realise that it is an important and complicated matter. It is true to say that the trustee investment list has not been changed to a great extent for about seventy years.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
Is my hon. Friend aware that the Lord Chancellor said in the other place in May that a comprehensive scheme was being evolved and that he hoped a public announcement would be made shortly? Is he also aware that we are a little concerned at hearing my hon. Friend say "shortly", bearing in mind the Lord Chancellor's statement in the other place last May? May I press him for early action, because this is causing considerable hardship to individuals and also to the administration of charitable trusts?
§ Mr. Barber
Yes, Sir. I have taken the point my hon. Friend has made and I will go a little further than the Lord Chancellor and say that I hope it will be possible to make an announcement within a few weeks.