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Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 8:

Page 1, line 11, after ("(2) (b)") insert ("of that section").

The noble Lord said: I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 9:

Page 1, line 13, leave out from ("words") to ("in") in line 14 and insert (""creation, promotion, expansion, reorganisation or rationalisation").

The noble Lord said: Again, I spoke to this amendment with an earlier one. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 not moved.]

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 12:

Page 1, line 16, after ("(2) (b)") insert ("of that section").

The noble Lord said: I have spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 13:

Page 1, line 17, leave out from beginning to end of line 21 and insert:
(""(ba) to investigate, formulate and carry out projects, or to make investments, for the encouragement, stimulation or development of capital or other financial markets in overseas countries;
(bb) to provide consultancy services;".").

The noble Lord said: This amendment is slightly different from the ones that I moved earlier, but it touches on points that we have already debated at some length. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 14 not moved.]

7.15 p.m.

Lord Judd had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 15:

Page 1, line 21, at end insert ("where such consultancy is directly linked to new investment and enhanced economic activity in conjunction with application of Corporation funds"").

The noble Lord said: Perhaps I may just add a word on Amendment No. 15, as it does not sit precisely in all respects alongside the other amendments.

A real danger that we perceive is that CDC could perhaps inadvertently cross the dividing line between assistance to third world countries and exploitation of those countries. In our view, we must very carefully guard against CDC's being used as an umbrella by privatisation consultants who have made rich pickings in the United Kingdom and who now wish to get a toe-hold in other countries. We believe that CDC should stick to what it is good at and avoid being distracted by the lure of so-called dry consultancy—in other words, the raking in of fat fees without putting in a penny of investment. The purpose of this amendment is to prevent that obscenity from happening.

In relation to this amendment we were looking for reassurances from the Minister. She may not believe that I always listen, but I do listen very carefully to what she says. Tonight I was greatly cheered when I heard her, at an early stage in our proceedings, deal very specifically with this point, and say that she wanted to see consultancy and that kind of advice, service and support always related to assisting in the process of enhanced economic and social development. At least, that is what I thought I heard her say. I am sure that I did. Because I thought I heard the Minister say that, I shall not move this amendment.

[Amendment No. 15 not moved.]

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 16:

Page 1, line 22, after ("(2) (c)") insert ("of that section").

The noble Lord said: I spoke to this amendment earlier. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 17:

Page 1, line 25, leave out from ("words") to end of line 2 on page 2 and insert (""which are incidental to the performance of any functions which the Corporation is empowered to perform by virtue of any of paragraphs (a) to (bb) above and"; and

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(b) for the words "that project or undertaking" there shall be substituted the words "the performance of any such functions".").

The noble Lord said: I spoke to this amendment before. It is purely a drafting amendment.

While I am on my feet, perhaps I may mention that, as noble Lords will have seen, the noble Viscount, Lord Waverley, was good enough to indicate that he supported my amendments and to attach his name to them. He has asked me to say that he is very sorry not to be able to be in the Committee this afternoon. I understand that he is abroad, in Africa, and that he has been visiting some CDC projects. That is the reason he is not able to be here tonight although he had hoped to be. I hope that Members of the Committee will understand. I beg to move Amendment No. 17.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 18:

Page 2, line 2, at end insert:
("(5A) In subsection (3) of section 4 (provisions supplemental to sections 2 and 3), for the words "promoting or expanding" there shall be substituted the words "creating, promoting, expanding, reorganising or rationalising".
(5B) After subsection (5) (b) of that section there shall be inserted—
(c) any reference to reorganisation includes a reference to corporate or financial reconstruction."
(5C) In consequence of subsection (3) above, paragraph (a) of section 1(2) of the Commonwealth Development Corporation Act 1986 is hereby repealed.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 2 [Short title and extent]:

Lord Trefgarne moved Amendment No. 19:

Page 2, line 4, at end insert:
("(1A) This Act shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.").

The noble Lord said: This amendment is intended solely to ensure that everything is correctly in place, administratively speaking, for the Act to be implemented once it has been passed. I hope that the Committee will agree with that honourable intention. I beg to move.

Lord Rea: My normal trusting and, I hope, rational self accepts completely what the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne said. When a slightly more leisurely timetable is sometimes found between the passage of a Bill and its enactment, it may perhaps be reasonable to raise at least one eyebrow at this amendment. I wonder whether it could be that the powers given to the CDC by this Bill will make it, as my noble friend Lord Judd suggested, a slightly more attractive proposition for a subsequent privatisation. Is this rapid timetable possibly because this Government can, at the outside, last only another 21 months and may well be forced to go earlier? It does not leave much time to enact a Bill to privatise the CDC. I am quite sure that the noble Lord will scotch that thinking on my part.

I rise to speak to the amendment so that the noble Lord can say a few words perhaps to allay any problems that the Bill might have in another place. It will be quite

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a precarious Bill when it goes into the other place, as he must realise. It will be very much dependent on all-party support. I wonder whether he could say a few more words about why it will be only two months after the Bill's passage before it becomes an Act.

Lord Trefgarne: I have to confess that this amendment was proposed to me by experts. Experts within the parliamentary drafting world, if I am allowed to refer to them sotto voce, proposed the amendment. It is apparently more or less normal that a period of grace is given between the passage of a Bill and its coming into force as an Act. Two months was thought to be appropriate in this case. I hope that on reflection the noble Lord will agree that that is right. I can assure him that there are no plans whatever, so far as I know, to proceed in the dastardly way that he proposes. I dare say that my noble friend Lady Chalker will now be able to reassure him of that.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I put to rest the suspicions of the noble Lord, Lord Rea. I can assure him that not only are these amendments formal and, as my noble friend said, were suggested by parliamentary counsel but also they are very normal.

I realise that adding up is not everybody's forte. Perhaps I may point out to the noble Lord, Lord Rea, that the present Government could run for another 23 months—not 21 months—there being 12 months in a year. I should also point out to him that the normal period between passing an Act and the day when it comes into force is in fact two months. So that is normal now. Therefore, I can lay to rest his suspicions once and for all. Certainly, there is no need for a more leisurely timetable. It would have been out of the ordinary and therefore suspicious in the other direction, if we had not kept to the normal timetable.

Such a lot of suspicion exists on those Benches about privatisation and whether the CDC will remain in the public sector. There will be no change in the policy. The reasons were clearly given at Second Reading (col. 1520). With CDC being a key instrument of ODA assessment in the private sector, there is no way in which any sensible Minister for Overseas Development would want to give that up. I hope once and for all that, with the noble Lords, Lord Judd and Lord Rea, we can put to rest all the hares that they set running every time that we discuss the CDC. Both the amendments of my noble friend Lord Trefgarne—Amendment No. 19 and Amendment No. 20 which is grouped with it—are purely formal and there should not have been a debate.

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