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Bills Of Lading

Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the reason why the India Office refuses to include a negligent navigation clause in bills of lading for shipments of stores on account of the Government of India, when such a clause is accepted by His Majesty's Treasury and the Admiralty, and is in accordance with the general commercial practice of the country?

The negligent navigation clause in bills of lading relieves the shipowner from responsibility for losses to cargo due to the negligence of his servants. The High Commissioner, acting on behalf of the Government of India, has declined to admit the clause in respect of his shipments to India, thereby continuing the previous practice of the Secretary of State in Council.

Is the Noble Lord aware that the Government of India is the only Government which has refused to allow this negligent clause?

Will the Noble Lord, in conjunction with the Board of Trade, consider the introduction of a harbour clause in the bill of lading?

As I have already explained in this matter, like so many matters of the kind, the High Commissioner acts on the instructions of the Government of India. I am prepared to ask my Noble Friend to make representations to the Government of India in this matter, but it seems premature to do so until everyone has adopted this clause.