MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what has been the amount of the saving to the Exchequer effected annually in the salaries and pensions of the Judges of the County Courts by the absorption of Circuits 10, 34, 39, and 56, since 1872, and of Circuit 46 since 1893; what has been the amount of the saving to the Exchequer effected annually by the abolition, in 1869, of the country d strict Courts of Bankruptcy and the transfer of the business of that department to the County Courts; whether any remuneration has been given to the Judges of the County Courts in respect of the additional labour and responsibility so imposed on them; what has been the average net annual cost of the whole County Court establishment, including the bankruptcy administration, for the last twenty years, apart from the salaries and pensions of the Judges; and whether any effect has been given to the recommendation of a Select Committee of this House in 1878, that the salaries of the Judges of County Courts should be uniformly raised to £2,000 per annum.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY (Mr. VICTOR CAVENDISH, Derbyshire, W.)
The saving in salaries has been £1,500 a year for each of the five circuits absorbed. The saving in pensions can only be conjectured, as it depends on the number of Judges who would have retired since the absorption took place, but I think that £1,000 a year would not be on unreasonable estimate. I regret that I cannot state whether any, and, if so, what saving has been effected by the transfer to the County Courts of the work of the country district Courts of Bankruptcy. Such transfer has led to a large increase in the remuneration of the County Court Registrars, but it is not possible to say what the expenditure would have been, during the whole period since 1869, if 1101 the transfer had not been effected. No increased remuneration in consequence of this transfer has been given to County Court Judges, but their salaries had been raised from £1,200 to £1,500 a few years before, i.e., in 1865. The average annual cost of the County Court establishment, apart from the salaries and pensions of the Judges, during the last twenty years, was £59,272. Effect has not been given to the recommendation in favour of an increase of the salaries of the Judges, but the County Courts (No. 2) Bill now before Parliament provides for an increase of the salaries of a certain number of Judges, on certain conditions, from £1,500 to £1,800.