MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can state by what authority, whether statutory or otherwise, fees are levied by the Home Office on various licences and other instruments; whether the same fee of £7 13s. 6d. is charged for a licence to stop a footway, for a licence to establish a theatre, for a grant of Quarter Sessions, and for a suffragan bishop or prebendary; and whether he can state on what principle this exact sum is fixed in such dissimilar cases?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
Various non-statutory fees are taken at the Home Office in pursuance of very ancient usage. Such fees are all paid into the Exchequer. The sum of £7 13s. 6d. has been charged in regard to all the cases mentioned, all of which were carried out by Letters Patent. The principle would appear to be that the same fee is charged in respect of all such Letters Patent, irrespective of the purpose for which they were required. Such charges were sanctioned by the Treasury in 1881. As regards a footway, no application for Letters Patent appear to have been received since 1874.