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Lord Kingsland: I thank the noble Lord the Deputy Chairman for that intervention. I have already spoken to that opening amendment. But I am speaking also to other amendments.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I shall speak to my amendments in the group and see whether I can keep up with the noble Lord.

Lord Kingsland: We are extremely keen to get on with the Bill.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Front Bench is!

Amendment No. 253B would add the words "or documents" after the word "information". It is unnecessary as the term "information" is used in its general sense and includes documents. "Information" means information whether or not in a document. "Document" means recorded information.

Amendment No. 254A would remove from the authorisation procedure the requirement for a unit trust scheme to submit a copy of its trust deed and certification from a solicitor that the deed complies with the rules. The effect of the amendment would be

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to shift a considerable burden to the FSA and away from the scheme itself. While the Government are keen to ensure that costs of compliance with authorisation and regulation requirements are kept to a minimum, certain precautions have to be taken by the providers of investment products. These should include such basic due diligence as ensuring that the trust deed--at the heart of a unit trust--complies with the rules governing it. This can be done adequately only by an appropriately qualified professional, and it is right that those responsible for the unit trust should ensure that it is undertaken.

Amendment No. 254C reflects amendments raising similar issues that were put forward in another place. As Clause 236(9) stands, one of the requirements that must be satisfied before a unit trust can be authorised is that,


    "participants must be entitled to have their units redeemed in accordance with the scheme at a price ... related to the net value of the property to which the units relate; and ... determined in accordance with the scheme".

The effect of the amendment would be to change the focus of this authorisation requirement so that a person's entitlement to have his units redeemed would be dependent on what was said in the FSA's rules. It would also move away from the need for there to be an entitlement to redeem units and simply leave it that a person should be "be able to realise" his investment in accordance with the FSA's rules.

As I understand it, the intention here is to draw a distinction between authorised schemes covered by the UCITS directive and those which are not. Perhaps I may deal first with UCITS schemes. It is essential for compliance with the directive that the investor should be entitled to have his investment redeemed on request. For that purpose, realising units on exchange also counts, so the circumstances in subsection (1) must be provided for. In any event, I cannot see why the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland, does not want subsection (10), which provides an additional means of meeting the requirement for authorisation set out in subsection (9). If subsection (10) were deleted, the noble Lord would be reducing people's options for obtaining authorisation.

I turn now to non-UCITS schemes. I have to say that the Government think that the existing wording already provides the kind of flexibility which the noble Lord seeks. All that subsection (9) currently says is that a unit holder must be "entitled" to have his units redeemed. That must be right. The subsection does not say anything about the time within which that entitlement can be exercised, so there is already built into the existing provisions considerable flexibility as to the time within which redemption make take place. It is then for the FSA to decide appropriate redemption periods for any particular type of unit trust scheme. Amendment No. 254C would add nothing to the effect of the existing provision. I hope that that will give the noble Lord some comfort.

Quite apart from the fact that this amendment is unnecessary, it would remove the requirement in the case of an authorised unit trust for the participants to be able to have their units redeemed at a price related

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to the value of a scheme's property. This is the very nature of an authorised trust and a feature that we think is so fundamental that it must appear in primary legislation. It is not sufficient for redemption to be "in accordance with the scheme". The scheme could itself be defective in this sense.

The purpose of the amendment was described in the other place as allowing for the authorisation of non-UCITS schemes--that is, those that are outside the Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities--because they allow more flexible redemption conditions. However, the amendment would go too far and allow, for example, redemption at inappropriately long intervals. That is inconsistent with the aim of consumer protection. Adequate flexibility exists.

I am not sure whether the noble Lord has yet spoken to Amendments Nos. 254G, 254RA and 254RB, which are in the same group. If he would like to speak to them, I shall then respond.

Lord Taverne: Before the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland, speaks to the other amendments, perhaps I may say that the Minister's reply to the amendments reminds me--I cannot forbear to mention it--of some remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Hayhoe, in a debate some years ago. He explained that when he first became a Minister of State, during proceedings on a very complicated Finance Bill he duly read out his brief. He was congratulated on the clarity of his exposition and later discovered that he had actually read out his brief from the wrong clause. That throws a certain amount of doubt on the new rule of interpretation whereby one can refer to Hansard in elucidating the meaning of statutes.

Lord Jenkin of Roding: I cannot resist the temptation of reminding the Committee of the occasion when I was debating in another place with the late Lord Lever. He was Financial Secretary and I was a shadow spokesman and precisely the same happened. I moved an amendment. He looked extremely puzzled and said, "Well, that has nothing to do with my reply but I had better give it". I said, "That sounds to me rather like the examination candidate who was asked to describe the principles of the Archimedes pump. After chewing his pencil for some time, he wrote, 'I know nothing about the Archimedes pump, but here is a list of the kings of Israel and Judah'". The Daily Mail, in a leading article, commented under the headline, "Laughter in Committee Room 10".

Lord McIntosh of Haringey : That reminds me of Browning's reply when he was asked, late in life, what was the meaning of a certain poem--whose title I am afraid I cannot remember so I cannot properly trump it. He said:


    "When it was written, God and Robert Browning knew what it meant; now only God knows".

Lord Kingsland: I am worried that the same thought might apply to what I am about to say to the next

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amendment! I shall withdraw the amendment, but, first, perhaps I may respond to the Minister's request to say something about my Amendments Nos. 254RA and 254RB--or at least say something about what I think my amendments are about.

Both amendments deal with technical points. They seek to query why the present wording of Clause 255 does not reflect Regulation 24(6) of the draft OEICs regulations. Clause 255 applies the provisions of Clause 141 on action for damages in respect of unit trusts. However, the equivalent provision in the draft OEICs regulations applies the provisions of Clause 141 and, in addition, Clause 367 on injunctions, Clause 369 on restitution orders, Clause 371 on the power of the authority to require restitution and Part XIV in respect of OEICs.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I hope I am right in thinking that Amendments Nos. 254RA and 254RB both relate to Clause 250 on page 128, lines 1 and 3. These amendments are unnecessary. The provisions they seek to apply when the authority has given a direction under Clause 250 relating to injunctions, restitution and disciplinary measures already apply as the clause stands.

It is necessary to refer specifically to the actions for damages provisions of Clause 141 because they apply to contraventions of rules, whereas Clause 255 is concerned with contraventions of directions. Without the mention, the Clause 141 provisions would not apply in these cases. The provisions that the amendment seeks to apply, which are to be found in Parts XXV and XIV of the Bill, on the other hand relate to the contravention of requirements. Clause 250 gives the authority power to make directions imposing certain requirements. So the provisions referred to automatically apply.

Lord Kingsland: I am much obliged to the noble Lord for that answer and the others he has given to amendments in the group. I shall read Hansard and reflect on what he has said. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 254:


    Page 120, line 40, leave out ("further information") and insert ("such further information as it reasonably considers necessary to enable it to determine the application").

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

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 235, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 236 [Authorisation orders]:

[Amendment No. 254A not moved.]

6.15 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 254B:


    Page 121, line 14, at end insert--

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