HC Deb 07 November 1906 vol 164 cc522-3

To ask Mr. Attorney-General how many persons were admitted to litigate in forma pauperis in Scotland and England during 1905, or the last complete statistical year, and whether in any such cases when unsuccessful the barristers and solicitors received any fees; whether he is aware that in Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland, and Italy fees and expenses are often paid or advanced by the Treasury of the State, and seeing that the institution called the Poor Man's Lawyer is established in connection with university settlements all over the country, and that in very few instances are the cases actually taken into court to obtain justice, he would see his way to institute an inquiry into this matter with a view to arranging that not only at the settlements but also at every county court there should be one or more solicitors appointed and paid to advise the poor, and to conduct actions when necessary on behalf of those whose cause of action is certified by a properly qualified authority as a prima facie one.

(Answered by Sir John Walton.) The subject of this Question will receive consideration, but, as at present advised, I cannot hold out any prospect that the Government will create appointments of the kind suggested.