File No. 763.72112/999

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1136]

Sir: Pursuant to the instructions of the Department relative to the transmission of all published official documents respecting the present state of hostilities, I have the honor to enclose herewith seven copies each of the following:

...

Order in Council (prize court rules) of March 23, 1915.

...

I have [etc.]

Walter Hines Page
[Enclosure]

Order in Council of March 23, 1915

Whereas by section 3 of the prize courts act, 1894, His Majesty in Council is authorized to make rules of court for regulating, subject to the provisions of the naval prize act, 1864, and the said act, the procedure and practice of prize courts within the meaning of the naval prize act, 1864, and the duties and conduct of the officers of the courts and of the practitioners therein, and for regulating the fees to be taken by the officers thereof, and the costs, charges, and expenses to be allowed to the practitioners therein;

And whereas in pursuance of the prize courts act, 1894, certain rules were made by the Order of His Majesty in Council, dated the 5th day of August, 1914, and amended by the Orders of His Majesty in Council of the 30th day of September, 1914, and the 28th day of November, 1914, respectively, which said rules and amended rules were by the said Orders in Council directed to take effect provisionally in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of the rules publication act, 1893, from the dates of the said Orders in Council, respectively;

And whereas the provisions of section 1 of the rules publication act, 1893, were duly complied with in respect of the said rules and amended rules, and the same were finally made by the Orders of. His Majesty in Council, dated respectively the 17th day of September, 1914, the 28th day of November, 1914, and the 3d day of February, 1915;

And whereas it is expedient that the said rules and amended rules should be further amended;

And whereas on account of urgency this Order should come into immediate operation:

Now, therefore, His Majesty, by virtue of the powers in this behalf by the said act or otherwise in him vested, is pleased, by and with the advice of his Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, as follows:

1. That in Order IX (discovery, inspection, and admission of documents and facts) of the said rules:

  • In rule 1, the words “upon filing an affidavit” shall be omitted.
  • In rule 1, instead of the words “any other party” there shall be substituted the words “any party other than the proper officer of the Crown.”

2. That in Order XI (sale, appraisement, safe custody, and inspection of prize) of the said rules, in rule 1, the following words shall be omitted: “on account of the condition of a ship, or on application of a claimant, and on or after condemnation.”

3. That in Order XV (evidence and hearing) of the said rules, the following rule shall be added: [Page 367]

  • 21. Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules the proper officer of the Crown may apply to the judge for leave to administer interrogatories for the examination of any person whether a party to the cause or not.

4. That Order XXIX (requisition by. Admiralty) of the said rules, as amended by His Majesty’s Order in Council dated the 28th day of November, 1914, shall be, and the same is hereby, revoked, and in lieu thereof the following order shall have effect:

ORDER XXIX―REQUISITION

1. Where it is made to appear to the judge on the application of the proper officer of the Crown that it is desired to requisition on behalf of His Majesty a ship in respect of which no final decree of condemnation has been made, he shall order that the ship shall be appraised, and that upon an undertaking being given in accordance with rule 5 of this order, the ship shall be released and delivered to the Crown.

2. Where a decree for the detention of a ship has been made in accordance with Order XXVIII, the proper officer of the Crown may file a notice (Appendix A, Form No. 55) that the Crown desires to requisition the same, and thereupon a commission (Appendix A, Form No. 56) to the marshal directing him to appraise the ship shall issue. Upon an undertaking being given in accordance with rule 5 of this order the ship shall be released, and delivered to the Crown. Service of this notice shall not be required before filing, but copies thereof shall be served upon the parties by the proper officer of the Crown as soon thereafter as possible.

3. Where in any case of requisition under this order it is made to appear to the judge on behalf of the Crown that the ship is required for the service of His Majesty forthwith, the judge, may order the same to be forthwith released, and delivered to the Crown without appraisement.

4. In any case where a ship has been requisitioned under the provisions of this order and whether or not an appraisement has been made, the court may, on the application of any party, fix the amount to be paid by the Crown in respect of the value of the ship.

5. In every case of requisition under this order an undertaking in writing shall be filed by the proper officer of the Crown for payment into court on behalf of the Crown of the appraised value of the ship, or of the amount fixed under rule 4 of this order, as the case may be, at such time or times as the court shall declare by order that the same or any part thereof is required for the purpose of payment out of court.

6. Where in any case of requisition under this order it is made to appear to the judge on behalf of the Crown that the Crown desires to requisition the ship temporarily, the court may, in lieu of an order of release, make an order for the temporary delivery of the ship to the Crown, and subject as aforesaid the provisions of this order shall apply to such a requisition; provided that, in the, event of the return of the ship to the custody of the court, the court may make such order as it thinks fit for the release of the undertaking given on behalf of the Crown or the reduction of the amount undertaken to be paid thereby, as the case may be; and provided also that, where the ship so requisitioned is subject to the provisions of Order XXVIII, rule 1, relating to detention, the amount for which the Crown shall be considered liable in respect of such requisition shall be the amount of the damage, if any, which the ship has suffered by reason of such temporary delivery as aforesaid.

7. The proceedings in respect of a ship requisitioned under this order shall continue notwithstanding the requisition.

8. In any case of requisition of a ship in respect of which no cause has been instituted, any person interested in such ship may, without issuing a writ, provided he does not intend to make a claim for restitution or damages, apply by summons for an order that the amount to be paid in respect of such ship be fixed by the court, and the judge may, on the hearing of such summons, order the ship to be appraised or to be valued, or give such other directions for fixing the amount as he may think fit.

5. That in Form 4 in Appendix A to the said rules there shall be omitted the words “commander of our ship of war” and the words “taken and seized as prize by our said ship of war.”

[Page 368]

6. This order shall take effect provisionally in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of the rules publication act, 1893, from the date hereof.

Almeric FitzRoy