Legal Aid (Maintenance Orders)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby 12:00 am, 10th July 1967

asked the Attorney-General when he will initiate legislation to permit legal aid to be granted in respect of an application to a magistrates' court for variation of a maintenance order registered in such a court, under the Maintenance Orders Act, 1958, but made in the High Court.

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

This proposal is among the matters referred to the Legal Aid Advisory Committee by my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor in asking it to consider what the priorities should be when financial circumstances permit further development of the Legal Aid Scheme.

Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman ensure that good priority is given to this matter to relieve the hardship falling on a number of separated wives? While we are awaiting legislation, would he consider asking the Minister of Social Security whether National Assistance grants can be made available for this purpose of taking proceedings for the variation of maintenance orders because wives may become a charge on National Assistance if they are unable to take proceedings?

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

Certainly the matter will be given sympathetic consideration. I will refer the hon. Gentleman's point to my noble Friend.