HL Deb 22 February 1878 vol 238 cc140-1

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, he wished to remove a misapprehension which he knew to exist out-of-doors with reference to a statement made by him on introducing the Bill. Having on that occasion referred to a passage of the judgment of Mr. Justice Lush in the Franconia case, in which that learned Judge said that, if Parliament had legislated for the particular place, a jurisdiction would thereby have been acquired by the Court, he pointed out that that learned Judge appeared to have overlooked that, under a Customs Regulation Act, which gave them authority in the matter, the Lords of the Treasury in 1848 issued a warrant which defined the limits of the Port of Dover as extending three miles out to sea; and he stated that, as the collision had occurred within that limit, if the learned Judge had been aware of that warrant, the result of the appeal in the Franconia case might have been different. He (the Lord Chancellor) was, however, anxious not to be understood as having wished to imply that either Mr. Justice Lush, or any other of the learned Judges, had overlooked any matter which ought to have been within their cognizance. Now, a matter such as this warrant could not have been known to a learned Judge unless it had been brought specially under his cognizance. The warrant relating to the Port of Dover was not known to himself until it was brought under his notice by a gentleman connected with a Public Office, and certainly the learned Judges could not be expected to be aware of it unless through some circumstance of that kind.


said, he had not understood his noble and learned Friend to imply that Mr. Justice Lush or any of the learned Judges had overlooked any matter of which they ought to have had cognizance. He desired to add his testimony to the desirability of passing such an Act as this; but he hoped that no attempt would be made to extend the zone beyond the marine league—or three and a-half statute miles—which all nations concurred in recognizing. They all knew what evils had sometimes resulted from too large claims being set up.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Friday next.

House adjourned at half past Five o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.