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Iran (Temporary Powers) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:36 pm on 12th May 1980.

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Photo of Mr Cecil Parkinson Mr Cecil Parkinson , Hertfordshire South 11:36 pm, 12th May 1980

I wish to begin my remarks by dealing with one or two of the specific points and questions that have been raised during the course of the debate.

My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Dr. Mawhinney) asked what would be the position of the branches of United States banks in the United Kingdom. Under United Kingdom law, the law could apply to banks, but in practice it would have virtually no application because contracts for banking and financial services are excluded. Under United States law, the law has attempted to require United States banks in the United Kingdom to freeze Iranian assets. That is not covered in the Bill. Iran has brought numerous actions in the courts to have its assets released, and the question is at present sub judice.

The hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. Evans) asked whether United Kingdom companies with subsidiaries in other countries would be affected by the Bill. Broadly speaking, the answer is that it can apply to overseas subsidiaries of United Kingdom companies, but there are limitations on criminal offences.