To move the following Clause: —
`(1) This section applies to a ship if for the time being—
(2) Where this section applies to any ship, the following statutory provisions, namely—
(3) Subject to subsection (4), the registration enactments shall have effect in relation to a ship to which this section applies in like manner as if it were not, for the purposes of the Merchant Shipping Acts, a ship belonging to Her Majesty.
(4) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide that any statutory provision falling within subsection (2) or (3) and specified in the Order—
(5) In the application of any provision of the Merchant Shipping Act, (other than a provision of the registration enactments) in relation to a ship to which this section applies, any reference to the owner of the ship shall be construed as a reference to the relevant department.
(6) An Order in Council under this section—
(7) In this section—
government department" includes a Northern Ireland department;
Government ship" means a Government ship within the meaning of section 80 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1906;
the registration enactment" means—
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ The Minister for Public Transport (Mr. David Mitchell)
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
The purpose of the new clause is to clarify the position of British-registered ships chartered by demise to the Crown and in the service of Government Departments.
The point of difficulty arises in connection with demise-chartered ships. For those not familiar with the phrase, it refers to the lease of the whole ship. The problem arises because there is some uncertainty concerning the application of the Merchant Shipping Acts. It is arguable that they are in the position of fully registered British ships or that, for the purposes of the Merchant Shipping Acts, they are in the position of unregisteredships belonging to Her Majestyand therefore may be outside the scope of the Merchant Shipping Acts. It is clearly of benefit to remove any such doubts, and the new clause will clarify the legal position of all demise-chartered ships in the service of any Government Department.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time and added to the Bill.