Did you mean feel hogg speaker:Viscount Hailsham?
Douglas Hogg: ...be a mistake to introduce legal aid in terms of either promoting a libel case or defending it. That said, will he consider the possibility of alternative funding methods, such as a contingency fee fund? I make a distinction between a contingency fee fund and contingency fees.
Douglas Hogg: My hon. Friend has had a most ingenious idea, but will he consider one drawback? He is talking about a registration fee which he suggests is a sort of collective deposit. However, I think that he will agree that the registration fee would probably not be fixed by statute, whether primary or secondary legislation. If that is right, who will set the registration fee? Assuming that it is done...
Douglas Hogg: I apologise for the fact that I was not here to hear my hon. Friend's opening speech. There is one point that troubles me. If one looks at inspection fees for small garages and car parks, one finds that one is dealing with a very modest fee. My concern is that, as there is no obvious sanction for the payment of this fee and as the amount is so small that it would not justify recovery...
Douglas Hogg: Will my hon. Friend clarify one point? Under clause 3 of his Bill the setting of the level of the licence fee is a matter for the local authority. How does that tie up with legislation under which the Secretary of State imposes, or at least sets, the licence fee? How do the two marry?
Douglas Hogg: Is it not also a fact that under the Bill a local authority would be able not to charge any fee at all? As a result of other enactments repealed by the Bill, is there not a chance that no dog licence fee whatever would be raised?
Douglas Hogg: Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is being suggested, and it has not yet been gainsaid, that these systems and fees can be used as a method of controlling the possession of firearms. That is manifestly correct; they can be so used. Surely we are entitled to debate the proposition that fees should he used as a method of controlling their possession.
Douglas Hogg: May I welcome the Minister's statement that his Department is looking further at the contingency fee fund concept? Within the profession, there is a feeling that if a choice has to be made between contingency fee funds and conditional fee agreements, there would be a strong preference in favour of the contingency fee fund because it avoids the conflict of interests already referred to and...
Douglas Hogg: ...that there is a precedent for the national health service paying for operations that cannot be performed within it within a stated time, why is the same principle not applied to private dental fees incurred by patients who cannot get NHS dentistry because it is not available? Why, in those circumstances, does not the NHS pay those private dental fees?
Douglas Hogg: ...Front Bench spokesmen for not having heard their speeches, because the debate started sooner than I expected. Secondly, I welcome the drafting of regulation 14. It is vitally important to link the fees with the actual costs incurred by the person carrying out the work, because that ensures that the do-it-yourself person does not have to pay on an assessed fee, based on what contractors...
Douglas Hogg: On the point about rising court fees, they have been raised substantially at county court level and in the High Court, and are a considerable disincentive to litigation.
Douglas Hogg: I was listening closely to my right hon. Friend. He was speaking about fees.
Douglas Hogg: On the question of fees, which are to be determined exclusively by the Lord Chancellor with the consent of the Treasury, after consultation with the judiciary and others, does my hon. Friend share my concern that there is no apparent duty to consult the users?
Douglas Hogg: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the House has little power to control the level of fees prescribed by the Lord Chancellor, not least because the order is subject only to the negative procedure?
Douglas Hogg: What about the Minister's power? He already has the power to set the licence fee. How do the proposals marry?
Douglas Hogg: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food sets the fees.
Douglas Hogg: A contingency fee fund.
Douglas Hogg: The hon. Member is being very candid, and we are grateful for that. As I understand him, he is saying that he and his party would greatly increase shotgun certificate fees to control the possession of shotguns.
Douglas Hogg: I was merely pointing out that the people of Lincolnshire have quite a lot that they are fed up about. They would be even more fed up if there were an increase in shotgun certificate fees. I welcome that part of my hon. Friend's statement.
Douglas Hogg: ...understand that, although many of us do not support the strike, many members of the junior Bar are paid no more than £46 a day for going into court? Will she take account of their expenses? The fee is derisory and the matter should be addressed with all possible speed.
Douglas Hogg: ..., and that there are 115,000 individuals who do not have access to a dentist? Given that, will she reconsider her rejection of my previous proposal that her Department should pay private dental fees, subject to a cap, where no NHS dentist is available?