The Legal Advice (Amendment) Regulations, 1970, which came into operation on 1st August, improve the financial condition on which legal advice is available. Further improvements in the Legal Advice Scheme must take their priority in the general context of the need to keep down public expenditure.
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree with the statement of the present Lord Chancellor that the advisory scheme to which my Question refers fills an admitted need and with the view of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee that the scheme requires urgent attention because otherwise a large proportion of the public will continue to be deprived of a solicitor's services? Is not the right hon. and learned Gentleman's most disappointing answer a precursor of the reactionary package about which we shall be hearing shortly?
The right hon. and learned Gentleman will have to await what is to come in a few minutes. Advice is important, but legal aid also is important. The legal aid provisions were improved only very recently and the new provisions will come into effect in November. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, we improved on the principles which were agreed by the previous Administration. There is no call for an immediate reply to the right hon. and learned Gentleman.