§ House in Committee (according to Order).
called attention to the 4th sub-section of Clause 4, which required "the owner" of every British ship to register from time to time the name of the "managing owner" of such ship, or if there were no managing owner, then of the person to whom the management of the ship was intrusted by and on behalf of the owner. The noble Lord said, that this provision might work with great hardship in the case of poor persons who were part owners of ships. The penalty for non-compliance with the provision was £500 for each time that the ship left any port in the United Kingdom after the 1st of November, 1875, without such registration, A ship trading between London and Newcastle might leave a port each week, and the fines inflicted on the owners for non-compliance with the clause might amount in one year to £26,000.
§ THE DUKE OF RICHMOND
said, it was very important that there should be no ship sent to sea without the owners 847 being responsible, and if they omitted to register the managing owner it would not be a light offence.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that this Bill when it became law was to be construed as one with the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854 and the Acts amending that statute, and it would put owners in no worse position as regarded the liability referred to by the noble Lord than that in which they stood at present. Of course, it would throw upon them the duty of putting forward some one as the person who was to be registered as the managing owner, or the person intrusted with the management of the ship; but, once that registration was effected, it would stand good so long as the same person remained in the position of managing owner or manager of the ship. It was absolutely necessary to enforce registration by a penalty.
§ Bill reported without Amendment; Amendment made; and Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at Six o'clock, till To-morrow, Two o'clock.