HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 cc279-80
1. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has made in arranging for the enlarged Admiralty jurisdiction contained in the Administration of Justice Act, 1956, to be incorporated into the respective legal systems of Barbados, British Antarctic Territory and Tonga.

18. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State of Commonwealth Affairs how far his plans to enlarge Admiralty jurisdiction under the Administration of Justice Act, 1956, have progressed; and what are the present limits of that juridiction.

The Minister of State for Commonwealth Affairs (Mrs. Judith Hart)

The provision of comparable jurisdiction in territories for which my right hon. Friend is responsible is almost complete and I am arranging to let my hon. and learned Friend have details.

We have no responsibility for the position in Barbados since independence.

In regard to British Antarctic Territory, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. and learned Member for Antrim, South (Sir Knox Cunningham) on 3rd August last year. [Vol. 68, c. 142.]

The Government of Tonga have not decided whether they wish the legislation to be extended to their territory.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Will the hon. Lady draw the attention of those territories, which do not want this change, to the "Torrey Canyon" disaster and point out to them that, in a like case, there can be no recovery from a sister ship in their courts unless they adopt this enlarged Admiralty jurisdiction which, as she has said, the other Commonwealth countries have gladly given to their courts?

Mrs. Hart

The hon. and learned Gentleman will be interested to know that later this afternoon my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is answering a Question which touches on this. Clearly, the implications of the "Torrey Canyon" will be considered in respect of the various maritime functions of different States.