HC Deb 31 May 1954 vol 528 c884
26. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Attorney-General whether he has considered the third annual report of the Law Society on the operation and finance of the legal aid scheme; and whether, in view of the observations in that report, he will bring into operation the scheme provided by the Act for giving legal advice.

27. Mr. Janner

asked the Attorney-General whether he will make a statement on the legal aid scheme, and, in particular, on what improvement he contemplates making in respect of its operation.

The Attorney-General (Sir Lionel Heald)

My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has considered the Law Society's Report. No decision has yet been reached about the recommendations of the advisory committee which accompanied the report.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that the report of the advisory committee says that the present truncated scheme can never be satisfactory while it remains in isolation? Is it not desirable, therefore, that the legal advice part of the scheme should be brought into operation as soon as possible?

The Attorney-General

I shall see that the views of the hon. Member are brought to the notice of my noble Friend.

Mr. Janner

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman do his best to assist in the matter by trying to come to an understanding at least about the question of legal advice? Is he aware that if legal advice was given it would save a considerable sum of money, as the Law Society has suggested, in respect of further litigation? Secondly, is he aware that the provisions of the Housing Rents and Repairs Bill at present going through the House will make it necessary for tenants to obtain a considerable amount of legal advice, which they can ill afford unless they are given some kind of legal aid?