HC Deb 14 July 1884 vol 290 cc905-6

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that last year no less than 523 affidavits, lodged at the Central Office of the Supreme Court of Judicature, viz. 86 used in the Divisional Courts, 2 in the Appeal Court, 237 in Judges' Chambers, 142 in Masters' Chambers, 46 in Masters' private room, and 10 in Judges' private room, had been lost; and, whether he would direct that some steps should be taken to prevent the recurrence of such carelessness on the part of some of the officials?


, in reply, said, it was true that a large number of affidavits had been lost, but that was not in any way due to the carelessness of the officials. He had inquired into the matter, and discovered that the loss only took place in the Queen's Bench Division. In the Chancery Division, in the course of the year, 88,000 affidavits were used, of which not one had been lost. But in that Division, copies, and not originals, were used in Court; whereas, in the Queen's Bench Division, in order to save expense, the originals were used in Court, and handed to the Judge, and from counsel to counsel. The result was that out of 45,000 affidavits so used some 500, or 1 per cent, had been lost. The question was then, in reality, more a question of economy than anything else.