HC Deb 05 March 1917 vol 91 cc5-6
12 and 13. Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) if his attention has been called to the judgment of the President of the Prize Court in the "Progresso" case, delivered in October, 1916, when Sir Samuel Evans declared that the words enemy property must have crept into Article 3 of the Order in Council of the 11th March, 1915, by mistake; can he explain who is responsible for that mistake; what steps have been taken to remedy it; and (2) whether it is still the policy of His Majesty's Government, as ordered by the Order in Council of 11th March, 1915, and subsequent Orders relating thereto, that the proceeds of enemy property condemned in the Prize Court shall be restored to the enemy owner, and that if sold the proceeds shall be retained in Court and the proceeds restored to the enemy owner at the end of the War; and is it proposed to maintain this procedure throughout the War?


The intention of the Order in Council of 11th March, 1915, was to subject goods seized in accordance with its provisions to the jurisdiction of the Prize Court, and to invest the Prize Court with a discretion as to the treatment to be meted out to them. If my hon. Friend will read the Order he will see that in every case, whether the goods are goods of enemy origin, of enemy destination, or of enemy ownership, the action taken is to be in accordance with such terms as the Court may in the circumstances deem to be just. His Majesty's Government have no intention of interfering with the discretion of the Prize Court in these cases, nor are they prepared to admit that the words "enemy property" in Article 3 were inserted by mistake.

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