§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is prepared, in order to promote soundness of trade in the mercantile community, to reduce the charges now made in England and Wales for the extraction of statutory information relating to deeds of arrangement, bills of sale, and county court judgments, which now cost, respectively, 2s. 6d., 1s., and 6d. for each single case, to the rate charged in Scotland of 1s. 6d. for each search, which enables the applicant to extract as he may desire at a sitting, and which thereby reduces to a merely nominal sum the cost per case of obtaining this absolutely essential information to the trading community?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
I cannot think the suggestion of my honourable Friend would do much to promote the soundness of trade. With regard to the county court fees, which are the only fees of those mentioned for which the Treasury is directly responsible, the whole amount received only just covers the necessary office expenses, and I do not see my way to lower them. For the other fees the Lord Chancellor is primarily responsible, and it is to him that requests for their reduction should be addressed.