§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (EARL BEAUCHAMP)
My Lords, in asking your Lordships to give a First Reading to this Bill I may explain that it is not of any particular importance in itself, except in so far as it deals with the procedure in Prize Courts. It makes no attempt whatever to deal with prize law, which remains exactly as it was; but so many years have elapsed since last this country was engaged in a war of this kind that when the matter came to be looked into it was found that procedure was by way of monition instead of by way of writ, and there were other antiquated methods of witnesses giving evidence. It is important that that should be altered as soon as possible, and it is for that reason that I ask your Lordships to give this Bill an immediate passage through this House. I may explain, moreover, that this is not a Bill which has been suddenly prepared. It has been for some time under the consideration of a Committee presided over by a gentleman whose name is very familiar to some of your Lordships—I refer to Mr. Butler Aspinall, K.C. The Bill received the approval of this Committee, and although I ask your Lordships to deal with it quickly on this occasion I commend it to you on the ground that it has received considerable attention from the Committee to whom I have referred.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 1ª.—(Earl Beauchamp.)
§ On Question, Bill read 1ª, and to be printed.
§ Moved "That the Bill be now read 2ª"; on Question, resolved in the affirmative: Bill read 2ª accordingly. Then it was moved, "That the Bill be committed"; on Question, resolved in the negative. Then it was moved, "That the Bill be now read 3ª"; on Question, resolved in the affirmative: Bill read 3ª accordingly. Then it was moved, "That the Bill do pass"; on Question, resolved in the affirmative: Bill passed accordingly, and a Message sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.