HC Deb 10 June 1936 vol 313 cc336-54

10.18 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 32, line 28, after "thereby," to insert: or renders the policy invalid in the event of it having been issued upon any false representation.


May we have an explanation from the Government?


I think it is for the Mover of the Amendment to give an explanation.

10.19 p.m.


I take it that what is intended here is to lay down another ground on which a policy will not be rendered invalid. The Amendment provides that, where a policy has been issued, it shall not later be rendered invalid on the ground that the policy or any part of the proposal form may have been filled up on grounds of false representation, and that, once a policy of insurance has been issued by an insurance company, it shall be valid and compensation shall be payable in the event of any accident under the terms of the policy, and that it shall not be at the option of the insurance company to declare later that they decline to pay on the ground that the policy was secured by misrepresentation. The Attorney-General will probably remember that, in the famous Los Angeles fire, the American fire insurance companies succeeded in evading payment of any claims whatsoever under just such a clause as my hon. Friend is seeking to obviate here and the whole onus of meeting the claims fell upon fire insurance companies in London, to the extent of about £4,000,000, because they did not choose to avail themselves of the stipulation which my hon. Friends seeks by this Amendment to eliminate. I hope I have made the point clear to the Attorney-General. If I have not, he may assist me in the matter. At any rate, we ought to hear from the Government a little more as to their attitude to the whole question of assurance, particularly on third-party risks, covered by the Bill.

10.21 p.m.


I should really like to add my commendation of the perspicacity of my hon. Friend in proposing the Amendment. The absence of some such provision in insurance covering motor legislation has led to endless hardship. The object of the Amendment is to ensure that, in the parallel circumstances of aviation, we shall not perpetuate those defects in the law. If, in a proposal for a policy, the insurer has omitted some relevant fact, the insurance company may, nevertheless, accept the policy and accept premiums for a long period of years, and the whole world is given to understand that the risk is covered, but when finally a claim is made it is too late to rectify the matter and the insurance company evades all liability. A constituent of mine wrote to me only the other day that his car had been run into and seriously damaged and, because the person involved in the accident had omitted some particular in his proposal, which did not seem to be very important, he himself had to pay for the damage to his own car, although the fault was not his. We have complained that many of the proposals of this Bill have been ill-thought out. Here is an opportunity to improve the general drafting of the Bill and to give us in this new legislation the benefit of the lessons of experience we have learnt in the parallel motor industry. I hope the Attorney-General will at least agree to accept the principle of the Amendment.

10.23 p.m.


I am obliged to the right hon. Member for West Stirling (Mr. Johnston) for assisting me in understanding the purport of the Amendment. The purpose, as I understand it, is that in no circumstances is misrepresentation to be a defence. The hon. Member who has just spoken seemed to me to have somewhat overlooked the general provisions of the Schedule. Paragraph 2 (2) provides that the insurer shall be liable, although he may be entitled to avoid or cancel the policy according to its terms. That is to be read in connection with paragraph 2 (3), which relieves him from liability if he obtains a. certificate that the ground on which he was entitled to avoid it was non-disclosure of a material fact or a representation of fact which was false in some material particular. I agree that this is a very difficult question. The general scheme of the Road Traffic Act was that people should insure and people who were damaged should, at any rate, have the benefit, not certain in all cases but in most cases, that the person they sued would have a valid policy of insurance. Some incursion has been made into the contractural rights of the insurance company by paragraph (ii) and paragraph (iii). It has been argued that it is going too far to say that in no circumstances could the insurance company escape liability, however grave and material the misrepresentation with which the policy was obtained. For those reasons I ask the Committee to reject the Amendment, bearing in mind that in the other parts of the Schedule some incursion has been made into the contractural rights of the insurer in favour of the insured person.

10.26 p.m.


As the Mover of the Amendment, I was trying to obtain an advantage—it might be called a mean advantage—but the speed with which the Deputy-Chairman was getting through the small Amendments to the Bill led me to believe that, if he continued, I should lose my chance. There was hesitation in order to give some one time to get in. The reason we wish to put in these words here is that certain insurance companies make difficulties. If hon. Members will cast their minds back to the discussion which took place on Clause 12 they will remember that we were trying to get some correction of the Clause where the size of the aeroplane was the measure of the amount of damage, or insurance or compensation to be paid. We are trying to get this Amendment accepted so that there can be no way out for any one. Why should anyone who, first of all, had had the inconvenience of damage being done and had experienced the difficulties following upon a claim being made, with all the necessary expense, have something further imposed upon him? Why should he not be assured of getting paid if his case were proved? Why should there be any conditions which make it impossible to obtain justice?

I hoped that the sense of justice of the Attorney-General, based upon his experience of law and of the courts, would have enabled him to see the real necessity of accepting the Amendment. I may be making a mistake here, but perhaps he is like other legal gentlemen. When it comes to the question of drafting a Bill, the object seems to be not to keep people out of the law courts, but rather to push them in. Whenever the legal gentlemen have charge of something which they can put into plain language so that the ordinary layman can understand it, they do not seem to do so, because they would be doing themselves out of a job. I do not want to make a direct accusation of that kind, but from what the Attorney-General has said on this Amendment, it would seem that Clause 12 was related to this matter. I thought it was a question of stupidity on the part of those who drafted Clause 12, but I believe that this is something worse than stupidity. I am sorry that the Attorney-General cannot see his way to accept the Amendment. It is simply a question of trying to make the position really secure, and it would be an effective thing if, in dealing with people handing out insurance, the Government would see to it that the sort of thing of which we complain could not be done.

10.30 p.m.


My object in rising is to see whether I can remove some of the doubts that have been expressed on the other side of the Committee. The general provisions of the Schedule bear a distinct family resemblance to Section 10 of the Road Traffic Act, 1934, where this House, in common with the other branch of the Legislature tried to find a method of avoiding the difficulty which a good many of us felt with regard to the question of compulsory insurance. That system, as indicated in this Schedule, has only been running under the Road Traffic Act, 1934, for a comparatively short space of time, but I am bound to confess as a result of my own experience of it, and the very stringent rules which are provided in that Section, and in this Schedule, if it becomes law, the rights of insurance companies have been severely restricted. So far as my personal experience goes, and I give it to the House for what it is worth, the safeguard in that Section appears to be working extremely well.

In these circumstances it would be a very great pity if by passing this Amendment we were to put into this branch of the law, dealing with aviation and compulsory insurance in aviation, a totally new principle. The only effect of it would be that we should then be invited to consider the matter afresh in regard to the compulsory insurance for motor vehicles, and there would be no real opportunity of testing and seeing whether what this House so recently as 1934 thought was sufficient has really proved by actual experience to be satisfactory. I hope the Committee will not think that I am putting the legal point of view too much in regard to this particular problem. It is not an easy problem to solve. The effect of passing such an Amendment would indubitably be to increase to a very considerable extent, in all probability, the premiums that would be charged by particular insurance companies, which might have a very deleterious effect upon the development of an industry which we all want to see developed as quickly as possible. In these circumstances I am glad to find that for the moment, at all events, the Government are not prepared to accept the Amendment.

10.33 p.m.


This matter may appear complicated, but when one looks at it it is a simple question of principle. If we begin to interfere by legislation with the right of the insurer to contract out of paying when a loss arises, the matter is quite simple. You pay your money and yet because you fail to mention the existence of some lorry or hangar, the insurance company is absolutely entitled to refuse payment. In due course, in practice, that is discovered to be, like almost everything else in capitalism, so fatal to the ordinary working of everyday life that the capitalists have to pass Acts of Parliament to stop it working out its natural course. When you start to do that, the natural desire of the ordinary citizen, who is not an insurance company, is that the certificate of insurance shall convey to the executors of the deceased or the injured person, as the case may he, some real assurance that the people who have killed him or have injured him will be able to pay what they owe as a result of having killed or injured him.

The thing has worked very imperfectly in the past. There has been a certain amount of legislation about it. I have no doubt that powerful interests have conveyed their views to successive Governments and Ministers about it, as a result of which hundreds if not thousands of people in this country—more in relation to motor cars than in relation to aeroplanes—are living with broken legs, on parish money, instead of having proper compensation for the accident, because of legislation having compromised between the two systems. One is the uncontrolled system of letting the insurance company get out freely and the other the system of legislating so that once you have paid your premium and got a policy, procured a certificate of insurance, the company must stand by that, however wrongfully you may have treated them in the course of making the contract. They can then turn to you. If they do not like to carry on business on those terms there are two ways out. One is to raise premiums—that is the natural way under the capitalist system —and the other, the more sensible way, is to realise that capitalism has failed in this matter as in everything else. The best thing we can do here is to extend as far as possible the opportunities of getting the poor fellow who is injured some money, and I ask the Committee to pass the Amendment simply because it is one small step forward, and a not unreasonable step, from the narrow capitalist point of view.

10.36 p.m.


I hope the Committee will not accept the Amendment. The hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt) is not up-to-date in his information. He has said that powerful interests have no doubt made representations to the Government as, to the effect of the working of compulsory insurance. Actually there is a committee appointed by the President of the Board of Trade sitting under the chairmanship of Sir Felix Cassel, with Mr. W. R. Smith, who was Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the Labour Government, an hon. Member of the Liberal party, two Members representing the Government side and others representing various insurance interests, who have heard evidence from industries, the motor industry and the Air Ministry, and also from the mining industry, as well as from other forms of compulsory industrial insurance. Their terms of reference are to see whether the present law is sufficient or not. Actually since the passing of the 1934 Act there have been extraordinarily few cases of hardship; the loophole has been nearly closed. The committee, as I know, is pursuing its task with considerable speed, taking a great deal of trouble in the matter, and I suggest that it would not be wise to press the Amendment at this stage in view of the fact that when the Committee presents its report the Government will be able to prepare a Bill modifying the whole details of the principle of compulsory insurance in aviation and in motor traffic and industrial insurance. If we pass the Amendment it might prejudice a consideration of the committee's report, perhaps in a very unwise manner.

10.39 p.m.


The Amendment deals with a matter on which there is a good deal of opinion. I take it that its object is to protect the third party in the same way as the Act of 1934 was designed to ensure that the unfortunate passenger damaged by a, motor car should not lose his benefit because of some misrepresentation in the declaration of policy. That is a legitimate object to aim at, but I would point out to the Mover of the Amendment and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Stirling (Mr. Johnston) that whatever one may wish to do in that direction—and I think all our sympathies would move us to act in that direction—this Amendment is impossible. It would give the benefit to any person insured under a policy in spite of the fact that the policy had been issued on false representations. For instance, I might own an aeroplane and get an insurance by false representation, and if the aeroplane or I were damaged I could claim the benefit of an insurance that I had obtained by fraud. I think I can convince the Mover and all those who have supported the principle, with which we all have a very great deal of sympathy, that the Amendment goes much too far. It would enable a man to profit by his own misrepresentation, and I am sure the Mover does not intend that. Moreover, I appreciate what my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Thanet (Captain Balfour) said. I do not think this is an Amendment which could by any stretch of sympathy be added to the Bill.

10.42 p.m.


The discussion which is now taking place is reminiscent of that which we had on Part III of the Bill. There have been two types of argument. The first is that we ought not to put any greater disabilities upon insurance companies because if we did so, the effect would be to raise the premiums. All the while the argument is that the risks should be carried by the poor innocent people on the earth and that they should expose themselves to the risk of injury or loss of life in order to promote aviation. That argument was used before and it was then blown sky high. Consequently, some improvements were made in Part III of the Bill, and I think the Attorney-General will remember the very happy evening we spent on this matter. The other argument is the very much more subtle one put forward by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Thanet (Captain Balfour), who realised that he could not bring out the first argument again this evening, although he desires the same thing. He wishes to keep down premiums in order to promote aviation.

The hon. and gallant Member suggested that we ought not to insist upon this principle because there is a Committee sitting. But the principle we are asked to consider is a perfectly simple one which does not require very much investigation. What is it? Let us suppose that a man is walking across a field and an aeroplane falls on top of him and he is killed. His widow applies for damages and is informed that she cannot get any damages because the aviator not only killed her husband but also told a lie to the insurance company. That is the proposal. The reason the woman cannot have any insurance is that the aviator was guilty of two offences instead of one. That is a monstrous proposition. The insurance company having accepted the premium, surely the law should lay it upon the company to satisfy itself that it has entered into a firm contract with the insured person. If the law makes that clear to the company, then the company will take its own steps to investigate the bona fides of the insured person. But it is monstrous that hon. Members should work themselves up into a state of indignation because of the insurance companies. The hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Thanet and the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, on more than one occasion have almost moved us to tears on behalf of the poor insurance companies.


The hon. Gentleman has misunderstood my argument, and I beg him to accept my assurance that I did not intend it in that sense.


I am within the recollection of the Committee, and I do not think I am doing the hon. and learned Member any injustice when I say that he solemnly addressed to the Committee the argument that if this were done, the only way in which the insurance company could protect itself against a greater incidence of claims would be by raising the premiums.




And that raising the premiums would not conduce to the development of aviation—that was the case put by the hon. and gallant Gentleman below the Gangway.


But that is very different from the point which the hon. Gentleman charged me with making. I was pointing out that the effect would be that the people concerned in aviation itself would be paying more. I am not concerned with the insurance companies and have no interest in them.


The argument I am addressing to the Committee is that if the Amendment increases the incidence, the liability should be carried by the insured person or by the insurance company and not by the injured person. We have had arguments addressed to us in defence of the aeroplane companies and in defence of the insurance companies but nobody on the other side says a word about the poor fellow who may be killed.

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

What did the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) say in 1930?


I am not concerned about what was said then. What I am saying now is that the insurance company must protect itself by examining the bona fides of the insured person and that it is no sort of excuse to advance to the injured person that he cannot be helped because a lie was told to the insurance company. This is a much more serious matter in the case of aviation than in the case of road accidents or accidents at sea. In the case of aviation the poor fellow who is injured is not a contributing party unless he has eyes in the top of his head. If he goes to sea he takes the risks involved but the only way he can escape the effect of accidents in the air is by getting off the earth. It is surely reasonable to suggest that we should protect the civilian population against these accidents. The hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Thanet spoke about the complications. What are the complications?


The complications are sufficient to require investigation by a committee which has given its services for about four months and, as far as I can see, will be engaged for another four months in hearing evidence on a problem which is not at all simple. The hon. Member said that my object was to protect the insurance companies. The point which I tried to make was that this Amendment should not be accepted because it was premature and because this point may be better covered by future Government action based on the report of the committee. The object is not to help the insurance companies but to provide protection in the instances which the hon. Member himself is bringing up—a protection which cannot be adequately provided in the Amendment.


That is an amazing statement. What more protection can any third person have than the unlimited obligation of the insurance company or the insured person to find all the damages laid down in this Bill without respect to any false statement having been made? This proposal is easy for everyone to understand except those whose minds are obscured by the desire to protect vested interests. The reason why we are having a committee is that it is the most roundabout way of preventing anything being done. But now we have an opportunity of doing something and hon. Members are not discharging their obligations to their constituents in leaving them exposed to dangers against which they can now provide them with protection, and the Attorney-General is not doing himself justice in the position which he has taken up.

10.52 p.m.


I rise, having no interest in the advance of aviation or in insurance companies. I hate them both quite impartially. But I cannot sit unmoved at the abandoned nonsense which is being talked. I am all for the protection of the citizen against the dangers of the air. I should be delighted if there were no aeroplanes against which to protect the citizens. But to imagine that this paragraph will be a protection for the innocent citizen against the ravages of civilian aircraft is utter nonsense. It is lifted almost verbatim from the Road Traffic Act, 1934, and when the hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt), with that charming moderation and quiet voice with which he produces in this House his most amazing misrepresentations of fact, draws a picture of the Poor Law institutions of this country being filled with people with broken legs living on the rates because of the failure of insurance companies to pay insurance, he may know of a case, he may know of two, but I should be very surprised if he could get the cases he knows of into double figures.

When the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) denounced with fury the principles underlying this paragraph and jeers at the President of the Board of Education for his interjection, he was a supporter of the Government of 1930. If this principle is so sacred why did not the then Minister of Transport introduce it? Why did not the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, who was not silent in that Parliament, get up and produce these perorations, this fury and excitement, then? The hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) might have listened to him. Thank heavens the Attorney-General has too much sense. This is a travesty of the proceedings of this House—[Interruption]—and the fact that I should have to get up and make this speech, the fact that the observations of hon. Gentlemen opposite have enabled me to make this speech, is their fault. If there has been anything irrelevant or foolish in my remarks, it is due to the idiotic observations of hon. Members opposite. The hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith said this paragraph was necessary to sweep away the evils of the capitalist system, or rather that it was something which might mitigate in some way those evils. What this paragraph does is to protect the fraudulent insurer against the honest insurance company. I may be old-fashioned and I may be foolish, in the view of hon. Members opposite, but I prefer the honesty of the capitalist system to the necessity for protecting the fraud which the hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith seems to think is necessary to avoid it.

10.56 p.m.


I do not propose to vie with the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. M. Beaumont) in his irrelevance, but I might point out that the problem is not one of protecting either the fraudulent insurer or the honest or fraudulent insurance company; the problem is one of protecting persons who are injured by aircraft. If I may reply to the right hon. and gallant Member for Ripon (Major Hills), I think he had not read the paragraph about which we are speaking, because he will find, if he reads it, that these conditions are only to be of no effect as respects any such liability as is required to be covered by a policy under Part III of this Act. That means third party policies. They will still be of effect as regards the liability of the fraudulent insurer. Therefore, his argument that by the insertion of these words you would be protecting a person against his own fraud is invalid, because it is not what the first paragraph of the Schedule says. This is only concerned with the protection of third parties, and it is on that point, and not upon the point either of the insurance company or of the insurer, that we are so anxious.

The hon. and gallant Member for Thanet (Captain Balfour) said he thought it was a good reason for not inserting this Amendment that some committee is considering the matter. That might be a good reason for not passing the Second Schedule, but, unfortunately, we have to pass the Second Schedule, and it seems a serious argument that you should pass it in a bad form because a committee is sitting. He says it would be better covered by Government action at some future time, but the Government are taking action now and not at some future time, and surely the function of this Committee, whether or not some other committee be sitting, is to see that this Schedule is in that form which will give the best possible protection to the third party. That, I gather, is the universal desire of all those hon. Members who have spoken—that is, if we assume that their protestations are real. If that be so, nobody can doubt that this Amendment will improve the condition of the third party, whatever else they may feel about it. It will make it possible for people to rely upon the provisions of Clause 13 of the Bill, which certainly purports to make certain that the third party will be insured against all liability which may be incurred. Quite clearly, if the insurance company should be able to say, after an accident has occurred, that although this certificate was in existence, yet, because of some previous false representation upon which the insurance was granted, therefore they were not liable to the third party, then the third party would not be getting in fact the protection which Clause 13 purports to give to him.

The only argument that has been advanced is that this might put up the premiums of insurance. Therefore, one has to weigh the benefits to be derived, on the one hand, by increasing the premium and, on the other hand, by giving security to the third party who is injured. There can be no Member of the Committee who, having to weigh up those two matters, would be in two minds as to which of them it is the more important to secure. Surely the thing that is most vitally important to secure is that people flying about in areoplanes should not leave injured or dead people about the country who or whose dependents can recover nothing as a result of the injuries or death. That is the real human problem with which this Clause is dealing. As against that, the fact that an aeroplane owner or company operating an aeroplane may have to pay a higher premium seems to me a matter of very small importance. If that small extra premium is going to kill civil aviation in this country, it must be a very weak sort of thing, because one is proceeding on the supposition that the companies or the individuals who run the aeroplanes will not be able to meet the liability. If they are able to meet the liability, there is no need for the insurance company to increase their premiums, because they will be able under the Schedule to recover from the person who has made the false representation the sum they will have to pay to the third party. It is only if the person who is flying the aeroplane or who is responsible for it is unable to meet the charge which is rightly decided against him as a result of an accident that the insurance company will be out of pocket as a result of the transaction.

I cannot believe that aeroplane companies and owners are so impecunious and dishonest that it is necessary to increase the premium in cases where aeroplanes are insured if this condition is inserted. It is not as if one were dealing with motor cars, of which there are many hundreds of thousands, many of them in the hands of people who have small resources and who could not perhaps be relied to pay for the accident. The ordinary private owner of an aeroplane roust inevitably be a man of considerable wealth. A company operating aeroplanes certainly ought to be a company with considerable financial backing or it ought not to be operating aeroplanes, because there is nothing so dangerous as aeroplanes

operated by mushroom companies. Therefore, I suggest that there is no valid argument against providing this protection for third parties, a protection which is clearly in accordance with the very clear words of the Clause of the Bill which makes necessary this type of insurance. It would be mere folly to delay making this Schedule as good a Schedule as possible because some committee is sitting which may at some future date suggest some other method of doing it. If they do, a Bill can be introduced and this Measure can be amended. While we are at the job, however, let us make this as sound a proposition as we can. In accordance with the unanimous expression of opinion in the Committee that protection is desired for these persons, there can be no argument that this is not a desirable Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 117; Noes. 174.

Division No. 229.] AYES. [11.5 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Parkinson, J. A.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Hall. J. H. (Whitechapel) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Adams, D. (Consett) Hardie, G. D. Potts, J.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Harris, Sir P. A. Price, M. P.
Adamson, W. M. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Pritt, D. N.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Quibell, D. J. K.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Banfield, J. W. Holland, A. Riley, B
Barnes, A. J. Jagger, J. Ritson, J.
Batey, J. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Rowson, G.
Bevan, A. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Seely. Sir H. M
Broad, F. A. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Sexton, T. M.
Bromfield, W. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Silkin, L.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Simpson, F. B.
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Burke, W. A. Kelly, W. T. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cape, T. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cassells, T. Kirby, B. V. Sorensen, R. W.
Charleton, H. C. Kirkwood, D. Stephen, C.
Chater, D. Lathan, G. Stewart, W. J. (H'oht'n-le-Sp'ng)
Compton, J Lee, F. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Leonard, W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Daggar, G. Leslie, J. R. Thurtle, E.
Dalton, H. Logan, D, G. Tinker, J. J.
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Viant, S. P.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lunn, W. Walker, J.
Dobbie, w. McGhee, H. G. Watkins, F. C.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) McGovern, J. Watson, W. McL.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Maclean, N. Westwood, J.
Evans, O. O. (Cardigan) Marklew, E. White, H. Graham
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Marshall, F. Whiteley, W.
Gardner, B. W. Maxton, J. Williams, O. (Swansea, E.)
Garro Jones, G. M. Messer, F. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Milner, Major J. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Gibbins. J. Montague, F. Wilson, C H. (Attercliffe)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Windsor, W. (Hull. C.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Grenfell, D. R. Oliver, G. H.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Owen, Major G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Parker, J. Mr. Mathers and Mr. John.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Assheton, R.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Apsley, Lord Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Aske, Sir R. W. Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Pilkington, R.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Guinness, T. L. E. B Radford, E A.
Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury) Guy, J. C. M. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Hanbury, Sir C. Ramsbotham, H.
Birchall, Sir J. D. Hannah, I. C. Ramsden, Sir E.
Blindell, Sir J. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Rankin, R.
Bossom, A. C. Harbord, A. Rayner, Major R. H.
Boulton, W. W. Hartington, Marquess of Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Boyce, H. Leslie Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Remer, J. R.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Ropner, Colonel L.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Holmes. J. S. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. I. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hopkinson, A. Rowlands, G.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Horsbrugh, Florence Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Cartland, J. R. H. Hulbert, N. J. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Cary, R. A. Hunter, T. Salmon, Sir I.
Castlereagh, Viscount Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Salt. E. W.
Channon, H. Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Keeling, E. H. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Christie, J. A. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Scott, Lord William
Colman, N. C. D. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Shakespeare, G. H.
Colville, Lt.-Col. O. J. Lambert, At. Hon. G. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Leech, Dr. J. W. Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Cooke, J. O. (Hammersmith, s.) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Simmonds, O. E.
Cooper, Rt.Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh. W.) Liddall, W. S. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lindsay, K. M. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Llewellin. Lieut.-Col. J. J. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Somerveil, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Culverwell, C. T. Loftus, P. C. Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C. Lumley, Capt. L. R. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Davies, C. (Montgomery) Lyons, A. M. Spens, W. p.
Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil) Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. McCorquodale, M. S. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Dugdale, Major T. L- McKie, j. H. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Duggan, H. J. Magnay, T. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Duncan, J. A. L. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sueter, Rear-Admiral sir M. F.
Eastwood, J. F. Markham, S. F. Tasker, Sir R. I.
Eckersley, P. T. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Tate, Mavis C.
Edge, Sir W. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Elliston, G. S. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Titchfield, Marquess of
Emery, I. F. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Tree, A. R. L. F.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. Wakefield, w. W.
Erskine Hill, A. G. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Everard, W. L. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Warrender, Sir V.
Fleming, E. L. Neven-Spence, MaJ. B. H. H. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Furness, S. N. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Wells, S. R.
Fyfe, D. P. M. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Gibson, C. G. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Gluckstein, L. H. Patrick, C. M. Wise, A. R.
Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C. Peake, O. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Goodman, Col. A. W. Penny, Sir G. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Greene, W. p. C. (Worcester) Perkins, W. R. D.
Gridley, Sir A. B. Petherick, M. TELLERS FDR THE NOES.—
Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor) Pickthorn, K. W. M. Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert War
and Mr. James Stuart.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

11.13 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 33, line 19, to leave out from "landing," to "or," in line 22, and to insert: (in whatever circumstances that liability is incurred), an. amount not less than that to which the liability of the insured could be limited under Sub-section (1) of Section twelve of this Act in the circumstances in which that Sub-section applies. This is a drafting Amendment. The existing words are not quite clear, and the present Amendment was put down to make them so.

11.14 p.m.


This Amendment ignores, by implication, an undertaking which was given by the hon. and learned Gentleman during the discussion of Section 12 of the Act. When we were discussing that Section, the hon. and learned Gentleman proposed to amend it on the Report stage. Now he is proposing an Amendment which he has proposed to amend further on the Report stage. The House almost unanimously refused to accept limitation of the liability in the case of persons, and the hon. and learned Gentleman undertook—and by the undertaking brought about the cessation of opposition to the Clause—on the Report stage to remove from the operation of the limitation the question of damage to persons.

11.15 p.m.


The hon. Gentleman's memory is at fault. The House negatived the Amendment that was moved by an hon. Member on the Liberal benches, proposing to remove any limitation in the case of personal injury; and the discussion to which the hon. Gentleman is referring took place on a later Amendment to provide for a £25,000 limit in all cases. The suggestion which I undertook to consider was that there should be a higher limit in the case of personal injury than in the case of damage to property. Whatever figure may be inserted in Clause 12 as the result of that undertaking, I do not think it will necessitate any alteration of the present Amendment, but, of course, if any such alteration should be necessary, it will be made. The Amendment is merely a drafting Amendment to make clear the original intention of the paragraph in the Schedule.


May I say that this is the first satisfactory explanation that has come from the Attorney-General, and I thank him very much for it.

Amendment agreed to.

11.17 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 36, line 35, to leave out "three," and to insert "four."

The object of this Amendment and of the next Amendment in my name is to give a person accused under the Act the right to be tried by a jury. I understand that at the moment, if the maximum term of imprisonment is not more than three months, the accused has no right to be tried by a jury, and the Amendment would increase the penalty from three to four months' imprisonment, so that the person accused would have the right to be tried by a jury.


This is not a very large point, and I shall be prepared to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 36, line 47, to leave out "date on which it is so sent," and to insert "receipt thereof."

This is a drafting Amendment, to make it clear that the date in question is the date of receipt, and not of dispatch.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 37, line 8, leave out "three," and insert "four."—[Mr. Perkins.]

In line 36, leave out "(owners' third party risks)."

In line 40, leave out "the sections aforesaid," and insert "section thirteen of this Act."—[The Attorney-General.]

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.