HC Deb 20 March 1884 vol 286 cc291-2
MR. W. H. SMITH (for Mr. GIBSON)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What was the amount received in the year 1883 in England, Ireland, and Scotland, respectively, for solicitors' licences; what is the amount paid for each solicitor's licence; whether the members of any other profession are obliged to take out licences for practice; and, whether he is prepared to abolish or lessen the exceptional treatment to which, in this respect, the solicitor profession is subjected?


Sir, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman, I have to say that the amount received in 1883 for solicitors' licences was £109,104. Of this £'87,015 was received in England, £13,780 10s. in Scotland, and £8,278 10s. in Ireland. The rates of duty are—(1) For solicitors practising in London within 10 miles of the General Post Office, or within the City or Shire of Edinburgh, or in the City of Dublin, or within three miles therefrom, £9; (2) forsolicitors practising beyond the above-mentioned limits, £6; (3) for solicitors who have been in practice less than three years, half the above rates. Appraisers and house agents are required to take out an Excise licence of £2 a-year, auctioneers of £10, and bankers of £30 a-year. Before 1853 the rates were £12 for town and £8 for country solicitors respectively; solicitors who had been in practice loss than three years paying, as now, only half rates. These rates were reduced after full consideration in 1853 to their present amounts, and the new rates were confirmed by the Act of 1870. I am not prepared to propose any further alteration in these licences.