§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
, in moving the second reading of the Bill, said, its object was to facilitate the appointment of Vice Admirals and officers of the Vice Admiralty Courts in Her Majesty's possessions abroad, and to extend the jurisdiction and amend the practice of those Courts. The Vice Admiralty Courts in the British Colonies were under the jurisdiction of the High Court of Admiralty in England, and the appointments to the judgeships of these Courts rested with the Admiralty at home. The inconvenience which this Bill sought to remedy arose from the small amount of business in these Courts, which rendered it necessary that the Judges in them should discharge other functions. Whenever a judgeship in a Vice Admiralty Court became vacant, notice had to be sent home, and months often intervened before a new appointment was made, during which time a cessation of the Judge's functions took place. The provisions of this Bill were, that the Governor of any colony in which the office of Vice Admiral shall become vacant shall 1045 be ex officio Vice Admiral until a formal appointment shall be made by the Admiralty. On the office of Judge of a Vice Admiralty Court becoming vacant, the Chief Justice or other principal Judge of the Colony was to be ex officio Judge of that Court until a new Judge had been formally appointed. As to the Registrars and Marshals, on any vacancy occurring, the Judge of the Court, with the approval of the Governor, may appoint a person to act until some person shall have been appointed by the Admiralty. There were some other minor alterations, but the above were the principal features of the measure. The Bill had been drawn by Mr. Rothery, Registrar of the High Court of Admiralty—a fact which he thought would have weight with their Lordships in considering its merits.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
said, he had read the Bill, which appeared to him admirably drawn, and met with his full approbation.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a.