HC Deb 19 February 1901 vol 89 cc478-9

I bog to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the case of Ben jamin Green Lake, solicitor, sentenced to penal servitude for fraud; whether he is aware that this is the same person who was, up to May last, the chairman of the Discipline Committee of the Incorporated Law Society; whether this is the committee which conducts the investigation of cases in which fraud or other misconduct is charged against solicitors in order to ascertain whether there are grounds for striking them off the rolls; whether he still adheres to the statement of May last that having personally inquired into the allegations made against the Incorporated Law Society, he was satisfied with the explanations given; and whether he proposes to continue the payment out of public moneys of £2,500 a year to the Incorporated Law Society towards defraying the expenses of their investigations into alleged frauds or other misconduct by solicitors.


The committee referred to in the question is a statutory committee of the Incorporated Law Society appointed by the Master of the Rolls, whose duty it is to consider allegations against solicitors of professional misconduct, and report to the Court if a prima facie case is made out. They also report to the Public Prosecutor if there is prima facie evidence of a criminal offence. The person mentioned retired from the committee in December, 1899. I adhere to my statement of last May† on the subject. The allegations into which I inquired related to certain specified cases, and had been made in the public press. I do not see why the Vote should be withdrawn because one person who held a high position in the society has been convicted of crime. I fear that even the House of Commons has in the past suffered in the same way.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if this lawyer had anything to do with the promotion of the Limerick, Kerry, and Tralee Railway?


Order, order!