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

Part of Industrial and Provident Societies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 11:45 am, 13th February 2002

The Minister has dealt with two of my amendments, the first of which she said did not go far enough, so I look forward to hearing further comments about that in due course.

In response to what she said about amendment (d) on the power to create criminal offences, I remind her that she just said that the Government are on the threshold of introducing the most radical reform of company law for perhaps 100 years. That will be an enormous piece of legislation. There seems to be no reason why it should not cover industrial and provident societies and offences relating to those who hold office in them—or, indeed, in friendly and building societies and perhaps the new vehicles and not-for-profit companies. Who knows what may be in the legislation?

Surely it would be better for all that we are considering to be dealt with in primary legislation, rather than piecemeal through statutory instruments without sufficient consultation or discussion in public. The Minister spoke on Second Reading of the response that had been received to the consultation paper that was launched in 1998. Those responses have not yet been published, but when they are, perhaps they could lead to discussion of detailed measures to amend further the industrial and provident societies legislation. Surely that would be better dealt with through primary legislation. However, I do not want to press my amendments. If the Committee accepts new clause 5, the issue will be subject to review. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Harrow, West for his flexibility. New clause 5 is much preferable to the clause that it replaces.

Question put and negatived.

Clause 3 disagreed to.

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.