§ 4.44 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I beg to move, in page 20, Line 35, at the end, to insert the words:and the arbitration tribunal may order the taxation of any costs referred to in this sub-section in such manner and on such scale or principle as they may think fit.Sub-section (12) of the Clause provides that the arbitration tribunal appointed under the Clause may direct persons to pay the whole or part of the costs of the board. It is a little doubtful whether this power is sufficiently wide to enable the arbitration tribunal to make direction which will require the costs to be taxed, and the object of the words which I propose to add is to enable the arbitration tribunal to direct taxation, so as to prevent the parties concerned from having to bear the burden of extravagant costs incurred in the conduct of proceedings. It is for the purpose of protecting people who have had occasion to petition before the arbitration tribunal.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
I appreciate the object of the right hon. Gentleman. Is this taxation to be taxation in the High Court? If so, I do not appreciate how the taxing master will get his jurisdiction. Or is it to be taxation by the arbitrator? In that case it seems hardly necessary to call it taxation, if he has already full jurisdiction in cases where an objection isunreasonable or frivolous and vexatioustodirect the person put in power to claim an objection to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the board.
§ The ATTORNEY- GENERAL
The costs will be taxed by the officer of the tribunal. In order to reassure the hon. and learned Gentleman may I say that this Sub-section is in precisely the same terms as a Section in the Metropolitan Water Act, 1902, which has been found to work with facility and satisfaction to the persons concerned. I do not know whether I am quite right in saying that the officer of the tribunal will tax the costs, but the fact that the provision comes from the Metropolitan Water Act will reassure the hon. and learned Member.
§ Mr. LESLIE BOYCE
Is not the sole purpose of the Amendment to insure that the costs to be borne by the board shall be reasonable?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Yes. I find that I am wrong in saying that it is to be the official of the tribunal. It is under Section 14 of the Act that the High Court taxing master gets his authority to tax costs.
§ Amendment agreed to.