I beg to move, That this House does agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
Perhaps it would be convenient to discuss at the same time Lords Amendments No. 2, in page 1, line 15, after "paragraphs" insert "(aa)".
No. 3, in page 1, line 17, after "which" insert:
is formed to carry on or
No. 11, in title, line 2, leave out "acquire equity" and insert:
form and promote, and to acquire
This is an important Amendment and I am glad that the House is having an opportunity to consider it. Earlier in the proceedings on the Bill, particularly in Committee, I expressed the hope that this power could be added to the Bill in another place. I am happy that that was done. As the Bill is drafted it allows the Highlands and Islands Development Board to buy and hold shares in companies which are already going concerns—
I am glad that the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) said something about this. I want to ask him whether this Amendment does not arise now because the Long Title of the Bill, when it was in this House before, did not permit them to be made. They therefore had to be moved in another place.
I recognise the difficulties for a private Member in this sort of situation. I have myself brought in a Private Member's Bill and, because of a change, I had to bring in a No. 2 Bill with a different Long Title. But, while I recognise the difficulties, I must express regret that this most important addition to the Bill has not had a chance of being discussed during the various stages through which the Bill passed in this House and that the kind of discussion we are able to give it now cannot possibly do justice to it. I must place on record the regret of the Opposition that we did not have a proper opportunity to discuss the repercussions of the matters concerned in the Amendment.
Amendments No. 2, No. 3 and No. 11 arise from the same sort of situation. They could not be made or discussed in this House on the earlier occasions. While we would not seek to oppose them because of their importance, we believe that they should all have been submitted to careful consideration and debate if we had had the opportunity.