HL Deb 16 November 1948 vol 159 cc408-9

3.17 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I rise to move the Second Reading of the Colonial Stock Bill. Neither this Bill nor the one which will succeed it aroused any controversy in another place. Therefore, unless your Lordships press me, I propose to deal with both Bills rather briefly. The Colonial Stock Bill provides for two unrelated amendments of the Colonial Stock Acts. I take the first amendment first. Under the Government and Other Stocks (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939, transfer of stock by inscription in the books of stock registrars was suspended, and provision was made for all transfers of stock to be made by instrument in writing. Clause 1 of this Bill is put forward in pursuance of the Treasury and Bank of England policy that there should be no return to the system of transfer by inscription, because of its inconvenient and cumbersome nature. The clause provides for the making of regulations under the Colonial Stock Acts for the abolition of inscription in respect of stock to which those Acts apply—that is, Dominion and Colonial stocks—provided that authority for making the regulations has been given by legislation in the Dominions and Colonies concerned.

I come now to the second purpose of the Bill. The object of Clause 2 is to enable the East Africa High Commission and any other similar inter-Colonial body which may be established in the future to administer services for more than one territory, to issue stock under the Colonial Stock Acts so that such stock may rank as a trustee security. It is a matter of some urgency and importance that satisfactory arrangements should be made for the High Commission to borrow in the London market. I hope that I have said enough to indicate the general character of the Bill. Of course, I shall be pleased to reply to any questions that may be raised. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Pakenham.)

3.20 p.m.


My Lords, I have studied this Bill rather carefully. We are much indebted to the noble Lord, Lord Pakenham, for his explanation of it. When Imperial or Colonial issues have been discussed in recent times in this Chamber, the two sides of the House have not always seen eye to eye. However, I do not think that anything divides us upon this Bill. I have searched it carefully to see whether I could find any signs of the Chancellor of the Exchequer giving effect to his recently expressed views on the subject of liquidation, but I am satisfied that this is a short and simple Bill to carry out a simple object.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.