Charities Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 12th October 2005.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Government Whip, Government Whip 3:30 pm, 12th October 2005

My Lords, the easiest response I can make is to say that we have been convinced by the arguments. We have listened to what has been said. I am grateful to the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley, for his energetic advancement of the cause of these particular charities.

The noble and gallant Lord asked me a perceptive question on the positioning of the new line in the Bill. I have to confess that we shall have to bring forward another amendment because we have probably misplaced it in the list. We shall have to make a further subtle change in the drafting at Third Reading. So I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to explain the point to noble Lords. He is probably right to point out that it does not sit well next to animal welfare. However, I shall not dwell on that.

In response to the other point raised by the noble and gallant Lord, I shall say simply that I am grateful to him for his letter, which I had occasion to revisit recently. It is fair to say that service non-public funds are subject to the public benefit requirement and they will continue to be subject to it. That is widely understood. The requirement will go on being applied by the Charity Commission. I hope that that clarifies the position.

I have nothing further to add except to express once more my thanks to the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, for his work on this issue.