§ MR. WEDGWOOD
I beg to ask the hon. Member for East Bristol, as representing the Church Estates Commissioners, with reference to the agency of Messrs. Clutton and Messrs. Smith Gore, whether these firms employ their own solicitors, and what the amount of the solicitors' bills paid in the year 1905-6 was; and whether this sum was paid by the agents out of their agency fees, or was paid by the Commissioners through these agents.
§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE
When the assistance of solicitors is required in matters relating to agency, they are generally employed and paid by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, but in occasional cases of minor importance the Commissioners' agents, for reasons of economy, are authorised to employ local legal assistance; the cost of such assistance is paid by the Commissioners or allowed in account with their agents as a disbursement; the amount paid by the Commissioners or allowed in account for such legal assistance during the year covered by their last published accounts (i.e., to Lady Day, 1905) was £561 12s. 6d., of which £13 11s. 6d. only was in respect of local assistance employed by the 1434 agents. For the year to Lady Day, 1906, the accounts are not yet completed.