§ MR. MAURICE HEALY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury in what cases it is proposed to increase the Stamp Duties at present payable by litigants in Irish County Courts, and what the grounds of the proposed increase are, seeing that these duties were more than doubled in 1877; whether it is proposed to reduce the Stamp Duties in any case; whether he is aware that strong objection is made as regards the excessive amount of existing Stamp Duties in the case of decrees by default; 939 whether, in the case of a decree by default for a debt of £2, at present whereas the total solicitor's costs amount only to 2s. 6d., the outlay amounts to 6s, viz., 9d. for service, and 5s. 3d. for stamps, as follows: On civil bill, 6d.; on copy, 6d.; on notice of decree by default, 1s.; on affidavit, 1s.; on filing affidavit with Clerk of Peace, 1s.; on entering civil bill, 3d.; on Clerk of Peace signing decree, 6d.; and on decree itself, 6d.; and whether these Stamp Duties will now be reduced?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Committee which is considering the Irish County Court Fees has not yet reported to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. It would obviously be premature to make any statement on the subject until the Report has been received and considered by his Lordship and the Committee of County Court Judges, who, pursuant to Section 83 of the County Officers and Courts Act, 1877, fix the fees with Treasury consent. The hon. Member has not allowed me time to make myself accurately acquainted with the details of the present scale of fees, but I believe that for debts of £2 and over his figures are correct. For debts under £2 the fees (or stamps) are 2s. 3d. instead of 5s. 3d.
asked, whether, in the Judiciary Bill it was proposed to introduce, the right hon. Gentleman would take into consideration the whole question of reducing fees to litigants?