§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Samuels)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
This is a very short Bill which proposes to give the Lord Chancellor of Ireland power to settle the fees in the case of the summons and process servers in Ireland. The fees at present paid are very small in amount. In the case of the County Court summons 6d. is the outside a public servant can get for service, or 1s.in the case where two defendants are living in separate houses or when he has to go a very great distance to effect service. In the ease of the petty sessions summons, the utmost fee he can get is 6d. in the case of service under four miles distance from his residence and 1s.outside that distance. It has long been felt that these fees are too small, having regard to present circumstances, and representations have been made to the Government by the Lord Chancellor that they should be given an opportunity to put them on a reasonable basis and that the fees should be fixed, as nearly all the other fees of this sort are fixed, by Rules of Court made by the Lord Chancellor. I would ask the House to pass the Second Reading of the Bill, and, if possible, to get it through all its stages. I may say that my hon. Friends from Ireland on both sides have acquiesced in its terms.
§ Major O'NEILL
Nobody from Ireland, least of all those with whom I am associated, desires to put any hindrance in the way of the passage of this Bill. I would ask my right hon. Friend, Will these increased fees be paid from the Exchequer or will they be paid from the Court fees, 858 either the High Court or the County Court, whichever it may be? I am not quite clear on that point. We all know that the lot of the process server in any country, and possibly more particularly in Ireland, is not always a happy one. Although personally I may be fortunate in not having had a large acquaintance with these gentlemen, at the same time I realise that their task is an extremely difficult one, and in view of the very poor fees we have been told they are receiving and considering the enormously increased cost of living in every respect now, I personally very much welcome this Bill.
§ Mr. SAMUELS
The charges are added to the costs of the prosecution. They fall on the litigants. There is no charge on the revenue.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a second time.
§ Resolved, That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee on the Bill.—[Mr. Pratt.]
§ Bill accordingly considered in Committee, and reported, without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.