HL Deb 12 June 1958 vol 209 c792

3.14 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any statement to make concerning the introduction of a Legal Advice Scheme as provided by the Legal Aid and Advice Act. 1949.]


My Lords, the Law Society have recently placed before me certain proposals for implementing Section 7 of the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, and the Law Society of Scotland have informed my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that they would be prepared to consider similar arrangements for implementing Section 7 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act, 1949. These proposals provide, in substance, for the giving of oral advice by solicitors in ordinary practice for a fee paid out of the Legal Aid Fund. It appears to us that a scheme of this kind would be more satisfactory in many respects than the employment of salaried legal advisers, and we are prepared to adopt it. If, as we hope, sufficient solicitors indicate their willingness to undertake this work, we intend to bring Section 7 of the two Acts into force towards the end of this financial year. My right honourable friend and I expect to follow that by bringing Section 5, the remaining section dealing with legal advice, into force later in the next financial year.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Viscount for that Answer. This further progress towards completely implementing the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, will be a great help to many people, and I am confident that solicitors will be only too happy to co-operate in making it a success.