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Colonial Cases

Prize Courts

Source: The Times, 4 June, 1920.

  Mr. Harold Murphy, on behalf of the Procurator-General, applied for the condemnation as prize of 85 Turkish dhows which had been destroyed by H.M. armed launch Cameran during war operations off the Arabian coast.
  It appeared from the affidavit of Commander Wm. Henry Duke, D.S.O., that the dhows were sunk because they resisted capture, or because there was armed resistance from the shore, or because the Cameran, by reason of her other operations, could not bring them into port. A large number of dhows were captured during the war and were taken into Aden.
 The President condemned the vessels.
  Solicitor - The Treasury Solicitor.

(Before the Right. Hon. Sir Henry Duke, President.)
  This was a motion on behalf of the commanding officer, and crew of H.M.S. Medea for a declaration that they were entitled to prize money for the destruction of an enemy submarine, the name and number of which were unknown.
  Mr. Wilfred Lewis appeared for the claimants; Mr. L. F. C. Darby for the Procurator-General.
  According to the affidavit o Commander A. W. Benson, D.S.O., the Medea, on August 25, 1918, sighted an enemy submarine in the North Sea about three miles east of Whitby. The submarine dived, but a depth charge was dropped in the centre of the swirl and it exploded about 10 ft. under water.  The charge was of such a nature that it was capable of explosion only on impact or at its set depth of100 ft. Pieces of metal also fell on board the Medea and they were believed to be bits of a submarine.  Bubbles and light oil rose to the surface and sweeping operations revealed an obstruction on the bottom.
  The motion was before the Court on May 11, when an adjournment was ordered to enable the Admiralty to consider Commander Benson's evidence. No opposition was now raised to the case, and
  The President awarded £155 prize bounty.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School