Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73



With reference to the memorandum of the Solicitor-General laid on the table of the House by the Minister of Lands on Tuesday, I desire to make the following explanation:—

What I intended to convey by my answer was this: The largest bill of costs I could remember having rendered was that against the Government, for whom I acted in the Waka-Maori libel case in the Supreme Court. I was speaking from memory of a transaction which happened nearly twenty years ago (October, 1877). After the conclusion of the case, the bill of costs was made up in my office, on the minimum scale as between solicitor and client, without the slightest idea of its being subjected to taxation. I was under the impression, when before the House on Monday evening, that it was actually rendered in that form to the Solicitor-General, and that I was allowed to have it back from his office for revision; but as Mr. Reid is positive it was not, no doubt he is right. I am perfectly clear, however, on this point, that I received information that the Government intended to have the bill taxed, and that thereupon I had it recast, charging in every instance the maximum costs I considered myself entitled by law to claim. This was only reasonable, seeing that a friendly bill of costs as between solicitor and client was now to be treated as a hostile bill. By this means an amount of something like a thousand pounds was added to the account. I believe Mr. Stafford had instructions to tax strictly. That he did so can admit of no doubt, for the taxation before the Registrar of the Supreme Court lasted two or three days, I myself conducting the case on behalf of my firm. The result of that taxation is correctly stated in Mr. Reid's memorandum. On another point I am equally clear: that on taxation I was allowed fifteen guineas per diem for a period of some weeks, during which I was engaged in collecting Maori evidence in Hawke's Bay, and in proving it before a Commissioner of the Supreme Court, this being five guineas per diem more than I have ever received in the Native Land Court.

I was hoping that I should be able to refer to the original papers for the purpose of refreshing my memory, but, as will be seen by the annexed letter, this is now impossible.

W. L. Buller.