HC Deb 18 April 1904 vol 133 cc355-6

To ask Mr. Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the number of solicitors who have been struck off the roll during the past five years for misappropriating the moneys of their clients; and whether he will take steps to protect clients and reduce the number of offenders in the profession by, among other things, creating a public trustee with whom the moneys of clients must be invested.

(Answered by Sir Robert Finlay.) His Majesty's Government have already taken steps to meet the evil to which the Question calls attention by the introduction and passing of the Larceny Act of 1901, which deals with the very numerous cases to which the existing provisions for the punishment of fraudulent trustees did not apply. The Judicial Trustee Act, 1896, makes provision for the appointment of a judicial trustee in any case in which application is made to the court for that purpose. It would not be practicable to make the investment of trust moneys with a public trustee compulsory, and, moreover, any such measure could not have any application to the very large class of cases in which no formal trust has been created.