HC Deb 11 May 1964 vol 695 cc2-4
3. Mr. Mitchison

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what shares of Allied Ironfounders Limited he holds or has recently held in his official capacity on trust for universities or colleges; what precautions he takes to ensure that moneys held by him on trust for public or charitable purposes are not invested in companies which make subscriptions or donations to a political party or for party political objects; and whether it is his practice as a trustee for such purposes to buy or keep the shares of a company which to his knowledge makes such subscriptions or donations.

Mr. Soames

So far as shares held for universities and colleges are concerned, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) on 27th April. So far as concerns the comparatively small amounts I hold as a trustee or on behalf of other trusts, the considerations that weigh with me are the soundness of the stock and level of the return.

Mr. Mitchison

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the stock is sound when the business of the company is to make baths and cookers and it wastes shareholders' money in party political contributions?

Mr. Soames

In examining this, the criteria by which shares are thought to be suitable to be held as trustee stock are the level of return on the investment and the economic viability of the company concerned, not the political activities of the companies in which stocks are held.

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