HC Deb 05 August 1914 vol 65 cc1985-6

On behalf of the Prime Minister I beg to move, "That leave be given to introduce a Bill to amend the law relating to procedure in Prize Courts."

This Bill is purely a departmental and uncontroversial Bill. It arises in this way: The rules of procedure in prize proceedings are out of date. Last year a Departmental Committee was appointed in order to revise these rules. That Committee was presided over by the very well-known Admiralty authority, Mr. Butler Aspinall. In accordance with the recommendations of that Committee the new scheme of rules of procedure was drawn up, and the Bill which I now ask leave to introduce enables these rules to be brought into force. The Bill by accident was circulated with the Parliamentary Papers this morning as though it had already been ordered to be printed. The Bill which I now introduce is substantially in the same form, with a provision added merely in order to provide for the application of these new rules to the rules already in force. I have just to add this in order that the House may be under no misapprehension: What we are now proposing does not in the least affect the decision which was announced by my right hon. Friend the First Lord in his speech on the Navy Estimates. He then said:— That the Board of Admiralty had decided to recommend to the Government the abolition of prize money. The Government have accepted that recommendation and propose to abide by it, so that it is not proposed to continue the system by which selected individuals in the Naval Service of the Crown are privately enriched in the discharge of the public duties that they perform. As my right hon. Friend pointed out, that decision does not affect another matter. The question of the issue of some Grant or bounty to sailors during the course of the war is a question which is under consideration, and it is safeguarded by the decision which I have announced.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General, and Mr. Churchill. Presented accordingly, and read the first time, and ordered to be printed. [Bill 354.]

Question, "That the Bill be now read a second time," put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House do immediately resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill.—[Sir John Simon.]

Bill accordingly considered in Committee and reported without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.