Yorkshire Dale Steamship Co Ltd v Minister of War Transport: HL 1942

Treatment of Merchant as War Vessel

The House considered when a merchant vessel may be treated on the same footing as a war vessel and be deemed to be engaged on a warlike operation.
Held: This depended on the nature of the cargo and the voyage: ‘She was then in the act of proceeding in convoy from Greenock to Narvik with a cargo of petrol for use by His Majesty’s forces in the Norwegian campaign then on foot. The crucial admission was made on behalf of the respondent that at the time of stranding the vessel was engaged in a warlike operation, namely, proceeding from one war base to another war base with military stores for the use of the British forces in the field . . Under certain circumstances, a trading or merchant vessel has been held to be for purposes of the war risk clause engaged in a warlike operation. As illustrative of these circumstances, I may take those of a merchant ship carrying troops, ammunition, guns, tanks, or other military machines or equipment to a theatre of war, or away from a theatre of war . . Such a vessel may be regarded pro hac vice as serving the belligerent purposes of the country and as taking her share in hostilities against the enemy. She is therefore, it is said, to be deemed to be engaged on a warlike operation.’

Lord Wright
[1942] AC 691, [1942] 2 All ER 6
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSmith New Court Securities Ltd v Scrimgeour Vickers HL 21-Nov-1996
The defendant had made misrepresentations, inducing the claimant to enter into share transactions which he would not otherwise have entered into, and which lost money.
Held: A deceitful wrongdoer is properly liable for all actual damage . .
CitedFogg and Ledgard v The Secretary of State for Defence, Short Admn 13-Dec-2005
The applicants sought judicial review of a decision of the respondent not to name the wreck of the merchant ship SS STORAA as a protected site under the 1986 Act. It had been a merchant ship forming part of a convoy, and was sunk by enemy action in . .
CitedThe Walumba (Owners) v Australian Coastal Shipping Commission 1965
(High Court of Australia) Instead of rescuing the vessel, she had been despatched to recover, the Walumba tug herself came into peril, and was salved by a pilot boat.
Held: The pilot boat was to be awarded pounds 10,000 for its services. A . .
CitedTotal Transport Corporation v Arcadia Petroleum Ltd (‘the Eurus’) CA 18-Nov-1997
Arcadia chartered the Eurus, and had succeeded in their application for an award in arbitration proceedings against Total. The award had been reversed, and they now appealed against that order. The parties disputed whether the amount was an award of . .
CitedPetroleo Brasileiro Sa v Ene Kos 1 Ltd (‘The MT Kos’) SC 2-May-2012
The MT Kos had been chartered by the appellants. The respondents failed to make payments, and notice was given to withdraw the vessel. The contract said that such a notice was without prejudice to any claim. At the time, the vessel was laden. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Transport, Insurance

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.191190