HC Deb 18 February 1867 vol 185 cc529-30

SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE moved for leave to bring in a Bill for extending and regulating the jurisdiction of the High Court of Admiralty, and for conferring Admiralty jurisdiction on the County Courts. He said, he thought it would be better to postpone any discussion upon its nature and principle until the House had had an opportunity of examining it. He might, however, state that for some years there had been a great desire on the part of the various mercantile communities, more particularly at Liverpool, that local tribunals should be established, before which questions relating to shipping might be easily and speedily decided. Two years ago the hon. and learned Member for Tiverton (Mr. Denman) with regard to England, and last year the right hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell) with regard to Ireland, had endeavoured to obtain the sanction of Parliament to the establishment of local tribunals of this nature, and both propositions were supported by memorials and deputations to Government from the various mercantile communities of the country. They were not, however, proceeded with. Government had now decided to endeavour to meet these general wishes by bringing in a Bill by which it was proposed to establish courts of this description. In order that the proposed courts should be enabled to deal with questions of all kinds connected with shipping, it was desirable that the jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty should be extended. The Bill he proposed to introduce extended the jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty to the necessary extent, and gave power to the County Courts, or to such County Courts as Her Majesty by Order in Council should name, to take cognizance of all causes relating to shipping where the amount involved did not exceed £500, or with the consent of parties to any amount, an appeal lying to the Court of Admiralty. It was thought better to give this jurisdiction to County Courts than to create new tribunals.


said, he could assure the House that the mercantile community would hear with the greatest satisfaction of the introduction of the Bill.

Motion agreed to. Bill for extending and regulating the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Admiralty, and for conferring Admiralty Jurisdiction on the County Courts, ordered to be brought in by Sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE, Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, and Mr. CAVE.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 28.]