HC Deb 22 July 1985 vol 83 c780
Mr. Millan

I beg to move amendment No. 10, in page 25, line 17, at end insert '(e) a person who is an associate of the debtor'. It seems strange that, now that we have in the Bill a definition of an associate, we should not, when dealing with those who are not eligible for election as a permanent trustee, exclude a person who is an associate of the debtor. It may seem obvious that such a person should not be appointed as a permanent trustee, but a number of other fairly obvious people who should not be so appointed, including the debtor himself, for example, are mentioned in the subsection.

I intend the amendment to improve the Bill. Indeed, that has been the aim of all my amendments, but the Solicitor-General for Scotland has not seen them in that light. I hope that he will accept this one.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I have to disappoint the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Millan). However, before he gets too gloomy, I should add that he may find that I am in a more favourable frame of mind later. I understand the reasoning behind the amendment, but I think that it is undesirable and unnecessary.

The amendment is undesirable because, having regard to the definition of an associate in new clause 2, it would prevent a person from acting as an insolvency practitioner in cases where there was no likelihood of any conflict of interest. That was the main reason why a similar provision was omitted from part I of the Insolvency Bill. The amendment would require persons who wished to be insolvency practitioners in a sequestration in Scotland to meet more stringent conditions than would be required in the case of a Scottish company liquidation or English bankruptcy proceedings.

The amendment is unnecessary because persons proposing to act as insolvency practitioners under this Bill will be subject to the provisions in part I of the Insolvency Bill when that part comes into operation. As a result of an amendment made to the Insolvency Bill on Report last Thursday, regulations will be able to be made prohibiting a person from acting as an insolvency practitioner in prescribed cases, being cases in which a conflict of interest will or may arise. In the interim period, pending the commencement of part I of the Insolvency Bill, consideration will be given, in consultation with the professional bodies, to including in regulations as one of the prescribed requirements for a person being qualified to act as an insolvency practitioner a requirement which, in effect, would prevent him from acting where there is likely to be a conflict of interest.

I take it that the right hon. Gentleman is anxious to avoid such a conflict of interests. I hope that he will appreciate that, given the amendment that was made to the Insolvency Bill last week, his objection will be met.

Mr. Millan

I am not persuaded, but I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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