HC Deb 14 July 1965 vol 716 cc66-7W
36. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General what sums of money additional to their salaries are allowed to be claimed by the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Justices of Appeal, High Court Judges and the Master of the Rolls for living away from home and other expenses incurred whilst carrying out their public duties.

The Attorney-General

Her Majesty's Judges when on Circuit are accommodated in Lodgings provided by the local authorities.

A Judge is financially responsible for the maintenance on Circuit of himself, his Clerk, his Cook and Butler and, if one comes, his Marshal. He pays also the travelling expenses to and from Circuit towns of his cook and butler. He and his Clerk are reimbursed their own travelling expenses round the Circuit. The Judge also has to pay the cost of providing food and refreshment for the domestic staff provided by the local authority at the Lodgings and for the police on duty there. Sometimes in the case of large old houses the numbers are considerable.

A Judge who has provided his own cook and butler and is the only Judge staying at the Lodgings receives an allowance of £8 10s. 0d. a day. When two Judges are staying at the same Lodgings each receives £7 5s. 6d. a day; when three are together on Circuit each receives £6 10s. 0d. a day.

In recent times, the Lord Chancellor has set up a central pool of cooks and butlers paid from public funds. The daily allowances of Judges who are served by them are reduced according to the circumstances. Thus, when three or more Judges in the same Lodgings are provided with staff at public expense, the daily allowance upayable to each Judge is £5 2s. 0d.

These allowances are calculated on the basis that the Judges on Circuit will require to return local official hospitality on a moderate scale. They have not been revised since 1954. These allowances are not normally paid to the Master of the Rolls, to Lords Justices of Appeal or to the Judges of the Chancery Division, since they only go on circuit very occasionally.

The Judges rarely travel on official duty except to go on Circuit. When they do so they are paid travelling expenses and subsistence allowances at the same rate as the most senior Civil Servants. The Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and the President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division are expected to provide official entertainment for numerous distinguished judicial and legal visitors from overseas. For this purpose they share a Fund limited to £1,000 a year.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General whether any special allowances outside their salaries are paid out of official funds to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justices of Appeal and High Court judges in respect of their postage, stationery, secretary, telephone and telegrams, living away from home expenses, and other expenses necessarily incurred whilst carrying out their respective public duties.

The Attorney-General

The Lords Justices and Judges of the High Court are provided at public expense with a Clerk who also performs court duties. The Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and the President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division, who have considerable administrative duties to perform, are provided with a secretary in addition. The Judges are entitled to use the telephone installed in their rooms at the Law Courts and to despatch letters and telegrams on official business at public expense. With regard to their expenses on Circuit, I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I have given to his previous Question.