HC Deb 26 March 1908 vol 186 cc1593-4

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the facts that advocates in Scotland pay £50 stamp duty on being called to the Bar, and that solicitors there pay a similar sum on their admission, but that the latter branch of the profession are called upon annually to pay a further sum as licence duty to enable them to practice; whether he is aware that advocates have the privilege of pleading in inferior Courts while solicitors cannot plead in the Supreme Courts; and whether, in view of the fact that as a class advocates are better able to pay than solicitors, he will equalise the payments of the two branches of the profession.


It is the fact that solicitors are required to take out an annual certificate to practice, and that such certificate is liable to a stamp duty, while in the case of barristers or advocates no such annual stamped certificate is necessary. The law is the same in this respect in England, Scotland and Ireland. The duties and privileges of the two branches of the profession are dissimilar, and there seems no good reason for equalising these payments by way of taxation.