HC Deb 30 March 1979 vol 965 cc889-91
Mr. Denzil Davies

I beg to move amendment No. 25, in page 13, line 26, leave out 'in the interests of members or' and insert: 'having regard to the interests of all the members of the credit union or in the interests of'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may also take Government amendments Nos. 27, 38 and 39.

Mr. Davies

This clause empowers the chief registrar to suspend some or all of the operations of a credit union if this would be in the interests of members or potential members". The amendment expands the wording so that the registrar will be better able, if necessary, to take account of the fact that suspension might be in the interest of some members, but not of all. It thus parallels the Government amendment to clause 18(2) which deals with cases of winding up. This point was raised in Committee.

Government amendment No. 27 is concerned with clause 18(2), which allows the registrar to petition for the winding up of a credit union in the public interest or in the interest of members. The hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) suggested that we might add the words "or some of them"which parallels with the previous amendment. This amendment meets the spirit of that suggestion. It would enable the registrar to act in all cases where the interests of members conflict, but it will avoid opening up the problems that were raised in Committee by the amendment suggested by the hon. Member for Braintree.

Mr. Powell

I wonder whether all is quite right with the amendment. I understand and respectfully agree with the insertion of the notion of all members. I agree that it should be the membership as a whole whose interests have to be taken into account in deciding upon expediency by the chief registrar. However, by altering the wording we are introducing the words having regard to the interests of all the members ". A disjunction has ben created between members and potential members which did not exist in the Bill as it originally stood. We now have a contrast between the interests of all the members of a credit union to which the chief registrar is to have regard and, as an alternative, the interests of potential members in which, or not having regard to which, the registrar is to consider his action as potentially expedient.

Clearly it would be undesirable for the interests of potential members to be disjoined from those of the existing members. I think that that is the effect of the redrafting that has taken place. As the Bill stood originally, it was satisfactory. Members or potential members created, one group of whom part had crossed; the flood and part were crossing yet. However, by the redrafting a contrast has been created between present and future which is surely undesirable.

I hope that I have made the point such as it is. I believe that it has substance. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman is sufficiently seized of it to undertake to have it considered in an assembly where matters of this sort at least are liable to have a professional scrutiny.

Mr. Denzil Davies

I understand the point made by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell). It demonstrates the danger, sometimes, of meeting arguments made in Committee without always thinking through the consequences of the arguments. I do not accept entirely what he says, but as so often he has made a good point and we shall consider it. We do not want to create a disjointing between existing and potential members. Consideration will be given to whether it is necessary to amend the amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 26, in page 13, line 42 leave out from "from" to"if"in line 44 and insert"an authorised bank ".—[Mr. Denzil Davies.]

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