HL Deb 02 March 1954 vol 186 cc4-6

2.43 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Mancroft.)

On Question. Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair]

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 [Minor amendments of principal Act]:

LORD MANCROFT moved, to add to the clause: (3) The persons qualified to be appointed under subsection (3) of section ten of the principal Act as auditors of the accounts of the Corporation shall include members of any body of accountants established in the United Kingdom and for the time being recognised for the purposes of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section one hundred and sixty-one of the Companies Act, 1948, by the Board of Trade.

The noble Lord said: This Amendment has been put down in response to representations by a minor body of accountants who are not at present amongst those listed in Section 10 (3) of the principal Act, that is the Development of Inventions Act, 1948, which recites a list of those persons qualified to be an auditor to the National Research Development Corporation. The Amendment is designed to permit the appointment as auditor of a member of any other body recognised by the Board of Trade for the purposes of the Companies Act, 1948. Section 161 of the Companies Act, 1948, simply lays down the qualifications necessary for persons to be appointed auditor of any company, one of such qualifications being that he shall be a member of a body of accountants established in the United Kingdom and for the time being recognised for the purpose of this provision by the Board of Trade. A parallel provision to the present one has already been included in the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, and may presumably be expected to appear in other similar Bills in the future. This short Amendment is quite uncontroversial, and I trust that it will commend itself to your Lordships. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 44, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Mancroft.)


The noble Lord is quite right: this Amendment is quite uncontroversial, and we have not the slighter objection to it.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clause agreed to.

On Question, Whether the House shall now resume?


My Lords, on the Motion that the House do now resume, I should like (it is rather an unusual procedure, but this is the only opportunity that I have) to say one or two words in correction of a statement that I appear to have made on the Second Reading, which, although not utterly incorrect, went, I think, further than the circumstances really warranted. I should explain that the National Research Development Corporation is one of those bodies, like the great research organisations, which have been created to supplement the normal work of a Government Department. Some of them are Ministerial, and come under the Government, and others come within the purview of the Department of the Lord President of the Council—that is to say, my Department. All, I think, work together in various ways, and it was in that sense that I made my brief intervention on the Second Reading. I did not mean to claim that the Lord President has a controlling interest over the Corporation; actually it comes directly under the President of the Board of Trade.

On Question,:Motion agreed to: House resumed accordingly.