HC Deb 09 June 1931 vol 253 cc808-9

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) at whose instance and for what purpose was the new method of photostat reproduction of copies of wills for probate instituted; and, seeing that this matter specially affects solicitors and their clients, will he inform the House for what reason the views of the Law Society were not ascertained before such an important change in practice was made;

(2) if he will inform the House of the nature of the additional savings which the Treasury consider will accrue to the public as the result of the new method of photostat reproduction of copies of wills for probate, apart from the estimated saving to the Exchequer of £1,500 per annum?


The photostat process for the reproduction of wills has been introduced in the Principal Probate Registry at the suggestion of the Treasury for the purpose of securing the advantages incidental to the adoption of up-to-date methods, including greater speed, accuracy and economy. The decision to make the change was taken by the President of the Probate Division after very careful consideration, and I understand that the change was not considered to be one on which it was necessary to consult the Law Society. The additional savings to the public referred to in my reply to the hon. Member of the 20th May are comprised in reduced charges for copies of wills and in the waiving, in most cases, of the requirement to produce an engrossment copy of the will when applying for probate.


Does not the Financial Secretary think that it would have been desirable to consult the Law Society and ask their opinion, at any rate?


That was not the view of the President of the Probate Division and I do not see why I should interfere in the matter.