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Fourth Schedule—(Issue Of British Iron And Steel Stock In Satisfaction Of Compensation)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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I beg to move, in page 65, line 42, to leave out from "shall," to "make." in line 43, and to insert

"on the dates on which interest is payable on British Iron and Steel Stock."
I understand, Mr. Bowles, that the next Amendment on the Order Paper to line 43 goes with it, namely in line 43, leave out from "are," to "holders," in line 44, and insert "at the said dates." This is an Amendment to try to provide that the payment of interest on the securities to which Part II applies should run from the date of transfer and not from the date which will be selected by the right hon. Gentleman. I do not think it is necessary to make a long speech in support of these two Amendments. Obviously it is equitable that the holders of those securities should receive similar treatment to the holders of the other securities dealt with by the other part of the Schedule.

As the hon. and learned Gentleman has indicated, I think we can dispose of these two Amendments without much trouble. It would be quite impossible, even if we accepted these Amendments, for the physical work to be done as suggested. There must be a balancing date, which, naturally, must be some days at least before the interest payment date, because the books have to be closed by the registrar and made up and the dividend warrants prepared for issue. I am not quite clear what the hon. and learned Gentleman and his hon. Friends have in mind. If they fear that there will be any undue delay, and that those entitled will not receive their modicum of interest, I can give him an assurance that that will not be so.

We have used these words in previous nationalisation Acts and, so far as I know, we have had no complaints whatever. The thing has worked smoothly. Arrangements will be made with the Stock Exchange to see that the procedure, when it is put into operation, will be such as is suitable to them as well as to the stockholders and the companies concerned. I hope, therefore, that the hon. and learned Gentleman will be satisfied and will be willing to withdraw the Amendment.

In view of what the Financial Secretary has said—and I am grateful to him for what he has said—I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.