HC Deb 23 July 1958 vol 592 cc596-7

Lords Amendment: After Amendment last inserted, insert new Clause "B":

  1. (1) The persons whose liability in connection with a ship is excluded or limited by Part VIII of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, shall include any charterer and any person interested in or in possession of the ship, and, in particular, any manager or operator of the ship.
  2. (2) In relation to a claim arising from the act or omission of any person in his capacity as master or member of the crew or (otherwise than in that capacity) in the course of his employment as a servant of the owners or of any such person as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section,—
    1. (a) the persons whose liability is excluded or limited as aforesaid shall also 597 include the master, member of the crew or servant, and, in a case where the master or member of the crew is the servant of a person whose liability would not be excluded or limited apart from this paragraph, the person whose servant he is; and
    2. (b) the liability of the master, member of the crew or servant himself shall be excluded or limited as aforesaid notwithstanding his actual fault or privity in that capacity, except in the cases mentioned in paragraph (ii) of section five hundred and two of the said Act of 1894.

Mr. Neave

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Subsections (1) and (2) both give effect to important provisions of Article 6 (2) of the Convention.

Sir F. Soskice

I should have thought that this was a proper change in the existing system of our law. As I understand the existing provisions as to limitation they only affect or relieve the owners and some charterers. As I read it the purpose of the Lords Amendment is to extend the relief given by the limitation provisions broadly to all persons who may be affected and who might be amenable to a claim for damages if, as our law at present stands, unable to avail themselves of the provisions limiting liability. That, I think, is right.

Mr. Neave

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right. This is an important change in our law. It will enable any person who is interested in or in possession of a ship to limit his liability. That would apply to caretakers and harbour authorities who for some reason or another move a ship under powers contained in local Statutes.

Question put and agreed to.