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Trust Property (Order In Council)

Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1943

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asked the Postmaster-General why, by Order in Council (Statutory Rules and Orders, 1943, No. 293), he has relieved himself of the ordinary duties that may arise from dealing with property held on trust?

I think my hon. and gallant Friend is under some misapprehension as to the effect of this Regulation. Under the Trustee Act, 1925, and the Execution of Trusts (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, a trustee is in certain circumstances enabled to delegate the execution of the trust for a limited period. The Regulations to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers are complementary to the provisions already made by Parliament in these Acts as their purpose is to enable the Savings-Bank to accept a power of attorney given under those provisions in respect of the transfer or withdrawal of deposits.

Does the Minister agree that the effect of this Order is to reduce his liabilities in cases where he is dealing with property in respect of which there is a trust, and does he consider it right that the Minister, by his own Order, should reduce his legal liability?

No, Sir, I am afraid that is not so. This is rather a technical question, and if my hon. and gallant Friend would like to discuss it with me afterwards, I should be happy to meet him.

Does the Minister not think it unfortunate that this Order is so obscurely worded that a lot of people have misunderstood it, and will he withdraw it and write it in language which can be understood?