HC Deb 28 July 1879 vol 248 c1519

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that shipping casualties were now tried by a considerable variety of tribunals; some cases were tried by the stipendiary magistrates, and some by the Wreck Commissioners. The objection which existed to the jurisdiction at present was that there was no power to obtain a re-hearing, and the only thing that could be done was to refer the matter to the Board of Trade. He had known many cases to be referred where fresh evidence had come out, or other reasons had made it apparent that there had been a miscarriage of justice. As he had stated, the only mode at present to meet those cases was by the authority of the Board of Trade; but he did not think it right that the decision of a Court should be set aside by the Board of Trade. The decisions in these cases were of the greatest importance to the masters of the vessels concerned, for the suspension of their certificates meant the ruin of their prospects in life. There was a very strong feeling that there ought to be some alteration; and he would, therefore, ask the House to allow him to take the second reading of the Bill, the object of which was to provide that, in cases of miscarriage of justice, there should be power to order a re-hearing. He believed that the provisions of the Bill would remedy the grievance to which he had referred. The 2nd clause of the Bill took the appointments of the assessors from the Judge, and placed them in the hands of the authorities in London. That would remedy a grievance that had long been felt in the Merchant Service.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Viscount Sandon.)

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.

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