HL Deb 23 June 1862 vol 167 cc862-3

presented a Petition of Law Stationers, Law Writers, and Copying Clerks of London, praying for the Repeal of an Order of the 16th of May last respecting Printing. The noble and learned Lord said, that the Petition was signed by upwards of 1,000 law writers and stationers, among whom was a member of a firm which had been established upwards of 120 years as law stationers. The Petitioners complained of the recent Order issued by the Lord Chancellor, with the sanction of the Master of the Rolls and other Chancery Judges, directing that affidavits and depositions to be used in the High Court of Chancery should henceforth be printed under the superintendence of the Clerk of Records and Writs; and, further, directing that the expenses of such printing should be paid out of the same fund and in like manner as office copies of affidavits under the existing practice, namely, the Suitors' Fee Fund. The petitioners, among whom he was pleased to find several ladies, complained that this Order would be the means of ruining their trade, and deprive them of the means by which they had hitherto supported their families. They pointed out that solicitors would be able to make precisely the same charges on their clients as at present, and that consequently the change, so disastrous to the petitioners, would be of no advantage whatever to the suitors. The Order was, moreover, directly in the teeth of an Order of Lord St. Leonards in 1852, that affidavits and depositions should be written in a clear and intelligible manner, similar to that usually adopted by the law stationers. He thought it his duty to state the case of the petitioners fully, whatever view he might entertain of the prayer of the petition, which was, that their Lordships' House, as it clearly had the right to do, would pass a Resolution which would at once have the effect of repealing the Order of the Lord Chancellor and the other Chancery Judges.

Petition to lie on the table.

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