Oral Answers to Questions — Third-Party Insurance (Government Motor Vehicles).

– in the House of Commons on 25th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the observations of Mr. Justice Stable, at Liverpool Assizes, on the inconsistency between compulsory private motor-vehicle third-party insurance and the conditions with regard to Government vehicles, the Government will now introduce the clauses of the Crown Proceedings Bill, designed to make the Crown liable for the torts of its servants?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

I have seen a newspaper report of the observations referred to, but I think there must be some misapprehension. It is the invariable practice, as has been stated more than once, for the Crown to assume the same liabilities in respect of their drivers as would fall upon a private employer. The ordinary form of compulsory third-party policy does not cover unauthorised or unpermitted user, and there would appear to be no inconsistency between the practice I have referred to and the legislation dealing with the third-party insurance. I understand that the officer was using the car at the time of the accident for an unauthorised purpose. The Government do not propose to introduce legislation on the lines referred to, and, in any event, the principles embodied in those proposals would not have made the Crown liable in this case.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

Does not the only opposition to the introduction of the Crown Proceedings Bill come from an expanding bureaucracy?