§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Lord KNUTSFORD)
My Lords, the Bill, to which I now ask your Lordships to give a Second Reading, is the outcome of a discussion which took place at the Colonial Conference in 1887, and is framed to give effect to the wishes of the Colonial Governments as represented at that Conference by their delegates. Acts have been passed in several Colonies—Victoria, New Zealand, Tasmania, South Australia, and West Australia—which have provided that where probate and letters of administration have been granted for deceased persons who have property in the Colonies, if the probate or letters of administration have been granted by a competent Court in this country, they are to have the same validity in the Colonies as if they had been granted there. The delegates at the Conference asked, and I think with great reason, 455 that similar legislation should be passed in this country, so that probate and letters of administration granted in the Colonies for persons having property in this country should be recognised in this country. I may also add that similar provisions exist with regard to Scotland, Ireland, and England; probate or letters of administration granted in England for persons who have property in Scotland or Ireland are recognised in those countries. This Bill has been prepared and has met with the assent of the Colonial Governments generally, and it has been approved by the Treasury and Inland Revenue. I need hardly detain your Lordships by reading through the clauses. By the 1st clause Her Majesty the Queen may, on being satisfied that the Legislature of any British Possession has made adequate provision for the recognition in that Possession of probates and letters of administration granted by the Courts of the United Kingdom, direct that this Act shall apply. A duplicate of any probate or letters of administration granted in the Colonies and sealed with the seal of the Court, or a certified copy, can then be produced here and will be re-sealed: provided that the Court, before sealing probate, is satisfied that probate duty has been paid in respect of so much (if any) of the estate as is liable to Probate Duty in the United Kingdom; and, in the case of letters of administration, that security has been given in a sum sufficient in amount to cover the property (if any) in the United Kingdom to which the letters of administration relate; and the Court is also empowered to require evidence of the same. There is also a power given to make rules to effect the carrying out of this Act.
§ Moved," That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Knutsford.)
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.