HC Deb 30 April 1975 vol 891 cc641-2
Mr. Graham Page

I beg to move Amendment No. 25, in page 4, line 33, after 'authority', insert 'in trustee securities other than securities issued by that authority'. The Clause provides that the proceeds of a local authority lottery shall be paid into a separate fund and that those proceeds shall be invested. It gives no particular direction as to the kind of investment to be made.

I think that it would be repulsive to the public who had subscribed to a lottery if the fund were invested in the very same local authority. If a local authority intended to retain the funds for any length of time—I hope that it would be a very short time, but it might take a month or two to settle up the prizes, the expenses and so on and the funds would be held for that length of time—I would hope that during that period the local authority would neither invest in anything speculative nor purchase equities in some way with those funds but would put them in something very sound and make it clear that it was not using those funds for its own purposes. That is why I have suggested in this amendment that the fund should be invested in trustee securities other than securities issued by that authority.

Mr. Weitzman

I hope that my hon. Friend will accept this amendment. It is similar to one with which we dealt in Committee. It is important that the words should not be left at large. Clause 5(1) says that any money in such a fund shall be invested by the local authority. Surely it is necessary that the precaution should be taken upon the lines set out in the amendment.

Dr. Summerskill

This amendment would require a local authority to invest any money in a lottery fund in trustee securities. I realise from what the right hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Page) said that this amendment is designed to ensure that lottery proceeds are not invested speculatively. But the amendment would have an unnecessarily restrictive effect on the investment discretion of a local authority. I explained in Committee that money in a lottery fund is likely to be directed to short-term investment, until sufficient has accrued for the chosen purpose to be undertaken. Lottery fund money is suitable for deposit in banks and for internal borrowing by the local authority itself. Such investments would be excluded by the amendment; the existing provision in the clause is adequate bearing in mind the nature of lottery fund money and the sense of financial responsibility exhibited by local authorities in these matters.

I should add that the expression "trustee securities" has, in any case, been inappropriate as a term of act ever since the Trustee Investments Act 1961, which repealed section 1 of the Trustee Act 1925 from which the expression "trustee securities" or "trustee investments" derives.

Amendment negatived.

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