HL Deb 18 June 1883 vol 280 cc775-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, the Bombay Marine were converted into an Indian Navy in 1829. In 1862 that Navy was abolished, and the Act which had been passed for the discipline and regulation of the Force was abolished. There had long existed a Bengal Marine, which served in certain of our wars in the neighbourhood of India; but there was no special law under which that Marine was regulated. Since the abolition of the Indian Navy, the Indian Marine Force had continued to exist; but the ships of which it was composed did not come either under the Merchant Shipping Act or under the Mutiny Act. The Bill gave the Governor General for the first time power to legislate with respect to vessels between the limits of the Straits of Magellan on the one side and the Cape id Good Hope on the other. The limits might appear to be rather wide; but it was thought advisable to err on that side rather than on the other in a question of jurisdiction over the sea. If vessels were used for purposes of war, of course they would come within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, and not under that Act. The Bill was not one for extending the Marine Force, or creating a new Indian Marine. It was simply a disciplinary measure. The noble Earl concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a." (The Earl of Kimberley.)


said, that the ground of his objection to the Bill was the excessive limits of the proposed jurisdiction, which had made the Bill to seem as if intended to revive the Indian Navy; this his noble Friend had now stated was not intended. But the waters described in the Bill as Indian waters would include, besides the whole of the Indian Ocean, the North and South Pacific, and they might as well add the Atlantic, which was comparatively a small piece of water. The reason this was not done was because the Admiralty feared a conflict of jurisdiction; but this objection might arise equally in the Pacific Ocean. He begged leave, however, to withdraw his Motion for the rejection of the Bill.

In answer to Viscount SIDMOUTH,


said, that no arrangement was made in the Bill as to the status of the officers of the ships which would come under the Bill in case war should arise.

Motion agreed to; Bill road 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.

House adjourned at a quarter past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Ten o'clock.