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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

21/02/1809

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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 21/02/1809
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" 3 Appendix, N° 8?. ( A.) Appendix, N° 71. Duties.] ON F E E S , G R A T U I T I E S , & c. five years, ending 5th January 1808, amounted to /. 607. 17X. 1 \ d. are incurred in compelling, by the procefs of the Court of Exchequer, Appendix, N » 82 Sheriffs of Counties, the principal part of this Revenue being collected by them, to pafs their Accounts, and pay the amount of their Receipts into the Exchequer. The Solicitor of the King's Rents ftates, thatin confequence of an order made by the Board of Excife in 1805, he con- ceives himfelf entitled to commence all fuch Suits as he may think neceflary for the recovery of the King's Rents, without receiving any lpecial directions for that purpofe, a difcretiori rarely to be entrufted to any Officer, not claimed by him when examined before us in 1806, and we think not veiled in him by the order to which he alludes. The Bills of Cofts furnifhed by this Officer coiifift of two parts, one contain- ing the Cofts of all Suits profecuted by him for the recovery of arrears of Rent due to the Crown, the other of what he terms Mifcellaneous Bufmefs, or fuch as has 110 relation to the Several matters that form the fir ft part of the Account. The £ ofts of the former defcriptiofl. are taxed by the Officer of the Court in which the Suits are carried on, but thofe of the latter, though allowed by the Solicitor to be equally taxable, and appearing in numerous instances to be incurred preparatory to the commencement of legal proceedings, are not Submitted to any fuch in- veftigation; both parts, however, fince the year 1805, are direCfed to be examined bv the Examiner of Solicitors Bills; but notwithstanding the utility in many refpeCts of fuch examination, it feems to be ma- terially defe£ tive, in as much as this Officer profqifes to be incompetent to decide whether the feveral charges of which the Account is com- pofed are juft, or made at a fair and reaionable rate. It is true, that the Solicitor annexes to each Bill of Cofts an Affidavit, in which he Swears, that the fevcral particulars and charges therein are juft and true ( errors excepted) to the beft of his knowledge, remembrance and belief, we do not, however, deem anlnftrument expreffed in terms fo loofe and vague, and fo liable to be mifconftrued by the party, a Sufficient protection to the Public againft the exorbitant or improper charges that may be made in thefe mifcellaneous Accounts, which ought to be the more guardedly watched, as they are almoft wholly compofed of charges for the perfonal fervices of the Solicitor, aCting in the bufinefs of his Office under, as he conceives, an cxtenfive difcretionary power. In every Ac- count furnifhed by this Officer that we have infpected, we find him de- biting the Revenue with large fums for letters written by him in his official capacity. Thus the number of fuch letters amounted in one year's Account to 1,107, and in another t0 9i6> for writing each letter he charges 4s. 6d. though we apprehend 110 taxing Officer would allow more than 2 s. 6d. or 1 J. after the firft letter, if they were circular. In truth, the facility with which fuch charges appear to have been hitherto allowed, feems to have induced the Solicitor to permit 110 occafiOn to efcape, of adding to the amount of his Miscellaneous Cofts; even his attendance on this Board in 1806, is made a fubjeCt of charge, and for perufing an order made by the Board of Excife, relative to a fine impofed upon himfelf, he charges 13s. and regularly charges 3s. 4d. per page for drawing out and copying his own Bills of Cofts. Between Trinity Term 18 04 and Trinity Term 1808, both inclufive, the Mif- cellaneous Appendix, N° ( A.) D°, N° 84. 83-
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