HC Deb 06 July 1967 vol 749 c1978
26. Mr. Hamling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the judge's comments in a recent criminal action in which wealthy defendants were given legal aid, he will now introduce legislation to give himself power to control the rules under which legal aid is administered.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dick Taverne)

The Criminal Justice Bill, now before Parliament, will enable the courts to require a person who is granted legal aid to pay a contribution towards the costs; and will empower my right hon. Friend to make regulations prescribing, among other matters, the manner in which a person's means are to be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether he should be granted legal aid and, if so, the amount of the contribution which he may be required to pay.

Mr. Hamling

Will my hon. and learned Friend agree that we are concerned not only with the rich people but also with a lot of poor people who cannot get legal aid?

Mr. Taverne

Legal aid should be more widely available as a result of the implementation of the Widgery Report.