§ MR. CUBITT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Registrars of Deeds for the county of Middlesex have as yet adopted a uniform system of fees, and reduced the fees charged to the scale prescribed by their Act, and if the records are still deposited in a building which is not fireproof; whether he can state the amount of emoluments received by the two surviving Registrars and by the Trea- 1849 sury in the years 1870 and 1871, and whether the fees of the vacant Registrarship are still divided between the two Registrars and the Treasury; if he can inform the House that no steps will he taken by the Lord Chief Justice to fill the vacant Registrarship; and, if Her Majesty's Government, pending the re-introduction of a general measure for the transfer of land, and the consequent abolition of the Middlesex office, contemplate taking any steps to put a stop to the existing abuses in the office as reported by the Royal Commissioners?
said, in reply, that he had reason to believe that no alteration had been made in the system of fees for registering deeds in the county of Middlesex since a Question was put on that subject two years ago. The fees were regulated partly by Act of Parliament and partly in accordance with the advice of eminent counsel; and the records were deposited in a building which he believed was not actually fireproof, but for the security of which considerable expense had been incurred. He was informed that in all respects it was as fireproof as the building in which wills were deposited, and that every possible precaution was taken against fire. The emoluments of the Registrars in 1869 were £2,561; in 1870 they were £2,145; and in 1871, £1,911; and they were still divided in the same manner as that which he described when he answered the Question put two years ago. He might state, however, that one of the Registrars had recently died, and that it was the intention of the Government to introduce a Suspensory Act which would deal with the matter provisionally, until such time as the whole matter came up for settlement under the Land Transfer Act.