§ Mr. Hopkin
asked the Attorney-General whether he can state the costs of proceeding to judgment in default of appearance in the County Court and High Court, respectively, for sums under£20, for sums over £20 but under £40, and for sums over £40 but under £100; and whether, to enable orders for payment by instalments to be made by the court having knowledge of the defendant's circumstances and nearest the defendant's home,. he will introduce legislation giving exclusive jurisdiction in all actions under £200 to the County Court?
§ The Attorney-General:
The following table shows the scale of costs for which the hon. Member asks in the County Court and High Court, respectively.
Judgment for a sum Costs in County Court. Costs in High Court. Under £20 From £2 6s. 5d. to £2 19s. 11d. No costs, except by special order. Over £20 but under 40. From £4 7s. 9d. to £4 19s. 9d. £5 18s. 6d. or in country cases £6 14s. 6d. Over £40 but under £100. From £4 19s. 9d. to £6 6s. 10d. Generally indorsed writs £5 18s. 6d. or in country cases £6 14s. 6d. Specially indorsed writs £6 19s. 6d. or in country cases £7 15s. 6d.
The answer to the last part of the hon. Member's question is in the negative. The Royal Commission on the Despatch of Business at Common Law recently had under their consideration the question whether any jurisdiction should be taken away from the High Court and given to the County Court, and, in paragraph 204 of the report, came to the conclusion that "any general increase in the present jurisdiction of the County Courts accompanied by further provisions compelling resort to those courts is undesirable and calculated to impair the usefulness of the public work which they at present perform."