HC Deb 24 June 1982 vol 26 cc494-5

Lords amendment: No. 44, to insert .—(1) For the purpose of applying paragraph 3(b) of Part IV of Schedule 1 to the Trustee Investments Act 1961 (which provides that shares and debentures of a company shall not count as wider-range and narrower-range investments respectively within the meaning of that Act unless the company has paid dividends in each of the five years immediately preceding that in which the investment is made) in relation to investment in shares or debentures of a company to which this section applies during the first investment year or during any year following that yesr, the company shall be deemed to have paid a dividend as there mentioned—

  1. (a) in any year preceding the first investment year which is included in the relevant five years; and
  2. (b) in the first investment year, if that year is included in the relevant five years and the company does not in fact pay such a dividend in that year.
(2) This section applies to any company of which shares have been transferred to the Secretary of State or a nominee of his by an order under section 3(4) or 11(4) above. (3) In this section— the first investment year", in relation to a company to which this section applies, means the calendar year in which the relevant order or, as the case may be, the first such order was made; and the relevant five years" means the five years immediately preceding the calendar year in which the investment in question is made or is proposed to be made.

Mr. John Moore

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The purpose of this amendment is to enable certain trusts to invest in the shares of Britoil or any new company to which it may be decided to transfer the Gas Corporation's offshore oil assets. The new clause, the wording of which closely follows precedents that were set in the Civil Aviation Act 1980 and the British Aerospace Act 1980, will have the effect of deeming, for instance, Britoil to have paid dividends for a five-year period. This will enable it to qualify, under the investment guidelines laid clown by the Trustee Investments Act 1961, for equity investment by a number of trusts to which the guidelines apply.

Investment trusts to which the Trustee Investments Act applies do not represent a large part of the equity market. Nevertheless, if this new clause is accepted, they will provide one of the channels through which members of the public can acquire an interest in Britoil.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 45 to 49 agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I wish to draw to the attention of the House that Lords amendments Nos. 50, 57, 58 and 60 involve privilege.

Forward to