§ MR. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, How many non-official searches of incumbrances have been made in the Register House, Edinburgh, from the abridgments and indexes, since 1st January, 1878, to 31st December, 1886; also, how many official searches have been made, or partly made, from the search sheet during the same period; whether, in the official searches, purporting to be made by means of the search sheet, the abridgments are still used, and to what extent; and, whether the Treasury intend continuing the two systems of searching, by abridgments and search sheets respectively, necessitating a double staff of clerks and double expenses otherwise?
§ THE SECRETARY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.)
The number of non-official searches of incumbrances made in the Register House, Edinburgh, from the abridgments and indexes since January 1st, 1878, to December 31st, 1886, was 17,655. The number of official searches made, or partly made, from the search sheet during the same period was 13,490; the official searches without search sheet numbered 3,084. The total number of official searches during the same period was 16,574. In the official searches made only partly from the search sheets, the abridgments are still used in respect of the periods to which search sheets do not yet extend; but as the lapse of each year increases to that extent the period for which search sheets are prepared, the use of the abridgments is being gradually lessened. The preparation of search sheets is being carried on as rapidly as possible; but it must be some years before they can be completed for the full period of 40 years required for searching purposes. In the meantime, it is not practicable to discontinue the abridgment. It is not correct to say that the use of the two systems necessitates 1718 double the amount of staff and expense which would suffice for either system.