Clause 42

Charities Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 11 July 2006.

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Power to modify powers or procedures

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West

May I use this opportunity to follow what the Minister said about the Society of Friends—the Quakers? He helpfully observed that, in new section 74D(4)(b) as proposed to be inserted in the 1993 Act by section 42, the words

“decision taken without a vote and without any expression of dissent” are taken to mean that if a body—including the Society of Friends—took a decision after discussion, without a vote and without dissent, that would have the same effect as if the resolution had been passed by two thirds of the members entitled to vote and attending. Will the  Minister consider over the summer whether there ought to be a general provision so that, instead of having to put such provisions into all sorts of legislation, there would be a catch-all that would operate in situations that would affect organisations such as the Society of Friends? Alternatively, could he ask the Society of Friends whether there are other provisions—perhaps for incorporated charities rather than unincorporated ones—that it might be helpful to duplicate?

Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)

I am certainly happy to consider that. However, is the hon. Gentleman saying that we should have a provision in the Bill that would affect other pieces of legislation? Have I understood him correctly?

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West

I am not trying to draft the thing off the top of my head. What I had in mind was to say that in cases where a recognised charity—I use the word “recognised” imprecisely—does not take formal votes, but where there is a requirement for a vote such as the one in the provision that I cited, a decision taken without dissent would be regarded as equivalent.

Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)

I suspect that that is already the case, but I will check that point.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 42 ordered to stand part of the Bill.