HC Deb 25 June 1901 vol 95 c1412

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate, as representing the Secretary for Scotland, whether he is aware that the registration fees imposed by the Sasine Office, Edinburgh, were increased in 1891 by the imposition of 5s. on each writ recorded; and that this presses on small proprietors, whose deeds form the main part of the register; and, in view of the fact that the net revenue of the Sasine Office shows a surplus for the year 1901 of £12,799, and that under Section 25 of the Land Registers Act, 1868, it is laid down that the fees to be drawn from the Department shall not be greater than may reasonably be held sufficient for defraying the expenses of the said Department, or the improvement of the system of registration, will he consider the expediency of rescinding the Order of 1891.


I am informed by the keeper of the Sasines Office that the basis upon which the hon. Member's question is founded is entirely wrong. The scale of fees introduced in 1891 only increased the fees of the register to a very small extent. The uniform fee of 5s. for each writ instead of the former sliding scale was approved as necessary to cover the actual cost of registration. It is certainly extremely moderate, less than half the agent's fee for ingiving and uplifting the writ. There is no surplus revenue of £12,799 or any such sum. The hon. Member has omitted to take into account the expenditure in other branches than salaries. These are noted on page 281 of the printed Estimates, and include office accommodation, stationery and printing, and the non-effective class pensions, etc.