§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Select Committee on the Private Bill Procedure (Scotland) Bill of last Session having reported that the sum of the fees of the two Houses for a series of years to 1897 was on an average £54,176 per annum, whilst the expense of both Houses for the 3rear 1897 in relation to private business was estimated at only £21,680, showing that an annual profit is made of £32,496, and that Committee having strongly recommended that those who are responsible for fixing those fees should materially reduce them, he will state who are responsible; and whether they have acted upon, or intend to act upon, the recommendation of the Committee; and, if so, to what extent the fees will be reduced?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The charges on Private Bills are regulated by Standing Orders. In 1864, in accordance with a draft Standing Order drawn up by the Select Committee on Standing Orders, the fees were fixed, and so long as that Standing Order is operative no modification of the existing scale can be made.