HC Deb 22 July 1960 vol 627 cc965-6

1.0 p.m.

Mr. Barber

I beg to move, in page 10, lin 21, at the end to insert: Provided that the Chief Registrar shall not have power to require the production of documents which do not belong to the building society, and which are not deeds relating to property mortgaged to the building society, from a person who is or has been an auditor of the building society or from anyone other than a person who is or has been an officer or servant of the building society. Subsection (1) in its present form would empower the Chief Registrar, if he considered it necessary for the exercise of his powers under the preceding two Clauses, to require any person, whether connected with a society or not, to produce any books, accounts, deeds or other documents relating to the business of the building society which a might be in that person's possession.

During the discussion in Committee on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill", the hon. and learned Gentleman suggested that this went too far, and he gave reasons why he took that view. He referred to the fact that the ordinary procedure in the courts was that only parties to suits could be required to produce documents, and he dealt with the case of the solicitor and the accountant and the rules relating to their working papers.

This new proviso in the Amendment will restrict the power to require the production of documents from auditors and persons not officers or servants of a society to documents belonging to the society and deeds of properties mortgaged to it. I hope that meets the point which the hon. and learned Gentleman had in mind.

Mr. Mitchison

I thank the hon. Gentleman for having substituted the ordinary order for discovery for the order for ships' papers, which was the original form.

Amendment agreed to.