Free Legal Aid.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 21st July 1942.

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Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

asked the Secretary of State for War why, since the welfare organisation in each command has for months past arranged for free legal aid for serving soldiers, it has been found necessary to set up a special department for this purpose; and if as a result of this new department welfare officers will, in future, be prohibited from giving free legal advice to serving soldiers?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

The new scheme is administered by the Director-General of Welfare and is an extension of the work which his organisation was already doing.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it involves an alteration of the method by which command welfare has at its disposal a number of persons to give this free advice, and why has there been substituted for that a new system of paid officers?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I have put in the Library of this House a copy of the pamphlet on this scheme, and if my Noble Friend will look at it, I think that he will find he is under some misapprehension. The new scheme has two layers of assistance, one by unpaid officers and one by a small nucleus of paid officers at command headquarters.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the new scheme is completely unsatisfactory, and will he undertake not to proceed with it until those in this House who are interested have been consulted or until the matter has been debated?