§ [No. 261]
§ After Clause 90, insert the following new clause—
§ Board of Trade's certificate that a person is a hanker to be conclusive evidence of that fact for the purposes of the Moneylenders Acts 1900 to 1927.
§ (".—(1) A certificate given by the Board of Trade that they are satisfied that a person can properly be treated for the purposes of the Moneylenders Acts 1900 to 1927 as being a person bona fide carrying on the business of banking shall, for those purposes, be conclusive evidence that he is so carrying on that business.
§ (2) If, upon an application (made before the expiration of the period of six months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed) for the issue of a certificate under the foregoing subsection, the applicant satisfies the 1278 Board of Trade that he can, as respects a period before the issue of the certificate (whether beginning before or after the passing of this Act), properly be treated for the purposes of the said Acts as having been a person who was bona fide carrying on the business of banking, they may certify that they are so satisfied (specifying the period in question), and the certificate shall, for those purposes, be conclusive evidence that, as respects that period, he was so carrying on that business.
§ (3) A certificate given under subsection (1) above with respect to a person may be revoked by the Board of Trade if they cease to be satisfied as respects him as mentioned in that subsection, but the revocation shall be without prejudice to the effect of the certificate as respects any period before the revocation.")
§ 6.12 p.m.
§ LORD BROWN
My Lords, the purpose of Clause 90 is to deal with the uncertainty, illustrated by the United Dominion Trust v. Kirkwood case, felt by some banks as to whether they can safely rely on the exemption gfiven by Section 6(d) of the Moneylenders Act 1900 to a person bona fide carrying on the business of banking. If the clause were to become law, every person who wished to be exempted from the Moneylenders Act as a banker would have to satisfy the Board of Trade that he should be so exempted. The established banks object to the clause on the ground that, whatever may be necessary to meet the difficulties of some banks, the clearing banks and the established merchant banks are satisfied with the exemption given by Section 6(d) and do not wish to see it replaced by an exemption dependent on the consent of a Government Department.
I will not go into the reasons for their feeling that. The Government propose to meet the objection made by the established banks by substituting for Clause 90 a new clause. I am not sure whether that is sufficient information, but if your Lordships' require further explanation I will give it. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.
Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Brown.)
§ LORD DRUMALBYN
My Lords, the noble Lord has not referred to the fact that subsection (3) still enables the Board of Trade, once they have given a certificate, to withdraw it just as easily as they give it. I do not want to go into all the 1279 difficulties, but I think that this is something that has to be watched carefully. Parliament does not readily give authority to a Department to withdraw a permission to trade in any particular sphere when that permission has been allowed. I still think that, somehow or other, we have to devise means by which this can be done in a manner that is not only fair but also appears to be fair.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.