HC Deb 23 June 1993 vol 227 cc400-1

'. For the purposes of section 727 of the Companies Act 1985 and Article 675 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (power of court to grant relief in certain cases), the British Wool Marketing Board shall be treated as a company and its members shall be treated as officers of it.'—[Mrs. Gillian Shephard.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Madam Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 47.

Mrs. Shephard

My hon. Friend the Member far Hexham (Mr. Atkinson) tabled a new clause in Committee seeking to address a point of concern to the British wool marketing board. That arose from the fact that, in terms of legal liability, members and officers of the board did not currently enjoy a degree of protection equivalent to that ordinarily available to directors of limited companies.

The new clause tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham proposed to apply section 727 of the Companies Act 1985 to the board and the Government undertook to consider that point sympathetically. We have now done that. We understand the board's desire, given the ending of the guarantee, to take steps to address the usual risks associated with operating within a more commercial business environment.

New clause 16 therefore places the board members and executives on an equal footing with company directors with regard to scope for release from liability. Amendment No. 47, which amends clause 59, is linked to that and confirms the application of the new clause to Northern Ireland. I hope that it will be accepted by the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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