§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
This little emergency Bill is necessary for the administration of the whole of the estate of any deceased seamen or Marines. As regards civil estate a seaman or Marine can dispose of his property just like a civilian; that is, by making a will signed in the presence of two witnesses. But he cannot so dispose of his naval estate. Under the Navy and Marines (Wills) Act, 1865 and 1897, no will made by a seaman or marine is valid to pass naval estate unless amongst other things (first), that it is made after entering the Service; (secondly), unless one of the witnesses is an officer, or in lieu, if made elsewhere than on board of one of His Majesty's ships, a Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, British Consular Officer, Officer of Custom, Notary Public, Solicitor, or in Scotland a law agent (Section V., 1865). The present Bill makes the civil will good for naval estate for the purposes of this War. It is desirable to do this, particularly in view of the large number of Reservists serving, who whilst they may have civil wills may not be familiar with this procedure, and will in all probability not have made what I may call a naval will.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow.—[Mr. Gulland.]