HL Deb 24 March 1896 vol 39 cc3-4

, in rising to move the second reading of the Marine Insurance Bill, said it was a Bill codifying the law of marine insurance. It was founded upon a Bill which he introduced in 1894. That Bill was very carefully considered by a Committee whom he requested to go into its details and suggest any alterations which might be made in its provisions, and he wished to take that opportunity of thanking those Gentlemen representing the interests of the underwriters, average adjusters, and shipowners, who formed that Committee and devoted a great deal of valuable time to the consideration of the Bill. The Bill aimed at representing as nearly as might be the existing law relating to marine insurance, leaving to a subsequent time such alterations, if any, in the substance of the law, as might be thought expedient. It was a little more than a mere statement of the existing law in this respect, that some points which would have been regarded as doubtful had been solved by the provisions of the Bill, but they had only been so solved where those who represented all conflicting interests were agreed as to the method of solution. He could not, of course, give any guarantee that the Bill as it stood was an absolute reproduction of the existing law, subject to the modification to which he had alluded, but he believed it to be so. It was drawn by Mr. Chalmers, the distinguished draftsman, who was the author of the code of bills of exchange and the code relating to the sale of goods. The success of those Measures afforded considerable warrant for their Lordships accepting this Bill, as also a satisfactory code on the subject with which it dealt. It would be proposed hereafter that this Bill should be referred to a sub-committee of the Standing Committee, who would carefully consider all its provisions and no doubt improve in some respects its form and substance, as was done in the case of the two previous Bills. He believed the Bill, if it became an Act, would be found to be of great utility. He had received from many members of the mercantile community expressions of the great use the previous codifications of the law had been, and an earnest hope that this code might also find its place on the Statute-book.

Read 2a (according to Order); and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Thursday next.