HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc277-8W
Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give a list of those territories, the courts of which do not as yet enjoy the enlarged Admiralty jurisdiction conferred upon the High Court of the United Kingdom by the Administration of Justice Act, 1956; and if he will state the progress which is being made in such territories towards the conferring of such jurisdiction.

Mrs. White

The list is:—

British Solomon Islands Protectorate;

  • Gilbert and Ellice Islands;
  • New Hebrides;
  • British Honduras;
  • Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • Barbados;
  • Tonga;
  • British Antarctic Territory.

Orders in Council have been drafted for the Western Pacific Territories (British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and the New Hebrides), for British Honduras and for the Turks and Caicos Islands, but these territories have not yet signified their agreement with the drafts. Barbados intends to adopt the provision of the Act by local legislation, but has not yet done so. The Tongan Government has not yet indicated whether it wishes the Act to be extended to Tonga or not.

Although it was originally intended to extend the Act to the British Antarctic Territory it has been decided, on further consideration, not to do so. It is exceedingly unlikely that proceedings will ever take place in the Territory, since action against a ship will only be possible if the ship is in the waters of the Territory (in itself a rare event), the cause of action arose in territorial waters, and the defendant resides or carries on business in the Territory.