HC Deb 15 February 1954 vol 523 cc1633-4
24. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Attorney-General how many complaints were received during 1953 about the excessive amounts demanded by some legal aid committees as a condition of granting certificates for legal aid.

The Attorney-General (Sir Lionel Heald)


Mr. Fletcher

Is the Attorney-General aware that I have had a number of complaints, including one from a woman earning £6 a week who was asked to deposit £9 before she could take proceedings in the courts? Will the Attorney-General make it clear that it is not intended, in any circumstances, so to operate the Legal Aid Scheme that people have to pay more when applying for a divorce than they would when applying for other certificates?

The Attorney-General

The last point in that supplementary question deals with another matter. It is fair to point out that, during the period in which there were 31 complaints, legal aid was offered in 33,937 cases.

Sir H. Williams

Will my right hon. and learned Friend also take care that both sides in a legal action are not financed and so have a joke at public expense?

The Attorney-General

That is also another question.