HC Deb 15 July 1915 vol 73 cc1091-2

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £23,166, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1916, for certain Miscellaneous Legal Expenses, including Grants in Aid of the Expenses of the Incorporated Law Societies of England and Ireland." [NOTE.—£26,000 has been voted on account.]


A very important point arises on this Estimate, in view of the situation in which we find ourselves. This Miscellaneous Legal Expenses Estimate deals with Sheriff's Expenses, Fugitive Offenders, the Railway and Canal Commission, the Wreck Commissioners, and other bodies. On page 7, which deals with revising barristers, there is estimated for 1915–1916 a sum of £25,463, which is the same as last year, for the duties of revising barristers. A revising barrister is elected ad hoc to what amounts to an ad hoc judgeship, as to whether a man shall have a right to be on the voting roll or not. We do not know whether we are going to have a voting roll this year or not. We are told by the Prime Minister that legislation will be introduced shortly to deal with the question of the extension of this present Parliament and with registration, and it seems to me that to expect us to pay £25,000 to revising barristers this year, for work which is absolutely unnecessary, is an extravagance which my right hon. Friend would not even allow himself. I may be wrong, of course, in saying that the economy can be made. I do not know whether we are committed to it from year to year.

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