HL Deb 27 October 1981 vol 424 cc944-5

29 Clause 30, page 38, line 10, leave out Clause 30.

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 29. The previous inclusion of this clause was intended to allow the Secretary of State to dispose of the records currently held by the Registrars of Business Names, following the abolition of the registers in London and Edinbrugh. However, although a number of organisations did respond to the Secretary of State's invitation to submit proposals, none was prepared to accept the conditions which he had thought proper to attach to any disposal. In particular, they considered that the value of the records would diminish rapidly in the absence of any statutory registration requirement. The Government's view, reflected in this Bill, was that this was not an area in which they considered statutory registrations to be justified, and that in any event it would not have been appropriate to devolve statutory powers to a private organisation. Accordingly, as the offer had failed to elicit any effective response over an extended period, it was withdrawn by the removal of the clause which would have permitted such disposal. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(Lord Trefgarne.)

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

My Lords, can the noble Lord tell your Lordships what in fact will now happen to the records?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, I understand that most of the records will be destroyed, but that will not preclude the Public Records Office from taking any that it might think are necessary to hold for historical purposes.

On Question, Motion agreed to.