Clause 3 - Power to modify, etc. to assimilate to company law

Part of Industrial and Provident Societies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 11:30 am, 13th February 2002

I am grateful, Mr. McWilliam, for your flexibility. However, I am sure that the Committee is also grateful to the hon. Member for Harrow, West for expanding at such great length on that matter.

The Minister cites the example of the rugby club that is registered as an industrial and provident society, compared with one that is registered as a company. If there is a need to assimilate the criminal law relating to such circumstances, we can debate that in the House. We can introduce and discuss primary legislation. What has happened today is a demonstration of the House at its best. We have been able to amend primary legislation. In less than an hour and a half, we have considered and focused debate on a series of amendments.

If we had, instead, been discussing a statutory instrument dealing with a range of issues, we could have had a one-and-a-half-hour debate with no opportunity to amend the legislation. The many constituents and organisations concerned about the consequence of the change in the law would effectively not be heard and hon. Members would not have the flexibility to adjust to points made in the debate.