1902 Encyclopedia > Laws Relating To Seamen

Laws Relating To Seamen

LAWS RELATING TO SEAMEN. In most legal systems legislation has interfered to protect the seaman from the consequences of that imprudence which is generally sup-posed to be one of his distinguishing characteristics. In the United Kingdom there has been a very large amount of legislation dealing with the interests of seamen with unusual fulness of detail, proving the care bestowed by a maritime power upon those to whom its commercial suc-cess is so largely due. How far this legislation has had the efficiency which was expected may be doubtful. The loss of life among sailors was one in eighty in 1871, one in seventy-five in 1882. There has been besides a steady diminution in the number of British seamen employed on British ships, nearly one-eighth being foreigners at the present time.

For legislative purposes seamen may be divided into three classes, seamen in the royal navy, merchant seamen, and fishermen.

Seamen in the Royal Navy.—It is still lawful to impress men for the naval service, subject to certain exemptions (13 Geo. II. c. 17). Among the persons exempt are seamen in the merchant service. In cases of emergency officers and men of the coastguard and revenue cruisers, seamen riggers, and pensioners may be re-quired to serve in the navy (16 and 17 Vict. c. 73). There appears to be no other instance (now that balloting for the militia is sus-pended) where a subject may be forced into the service of the crown against his will. The navy is, however, at the present day wholly recruited by voluntary enlistment. The navy estimates of 1885 provided for 59,000 men (see NAVY). Special advantages are afforded by the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, to merchant seamen enlisting in the navy. They are enabled to leave their ship without punishment or forfeiture in order to join the naval service. The discipline of the navy is, unlike that of the army, for which an annual Army Act is necessary, regulated by a permanent Act of Parliament, that now in force being the Naval Discipline Act, 1866. In addition to numerous hospitals and infirmaries in the United Kingdom and abroad, the great charity of Greenwich Hospital is a mode of provision for old and disabled seamen in the navy (see GREENWICH). At present such seamen are out-pensioners only; the hospital has been for some years used as the Royal Naval College for officer students. The enactments of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, as to savings banks were extended to seamen in the navy by 18 and 19 Vict. e. 91, s. 17. Enlistment without the licence of the crown in the naval service of a foreign state at war with another foreign state that is at peace with the United Kingdom is an offence punishable under the Foreign Enlistment Act, 1870. Any person buying from a seaman or enticing a sea-man to sell Government property is liable to penalties under the Seamen's Clothing Act, 1869.

Merchant Seamen.—Most of the Acts dealing with this subject, commencing with 8 Eliz. c. 13, were repealed by 17 and 18 Vict, c. 120, after having been consolidated and extended by the Mer-chant Shipping Act, 1854 (17 and 18 Vict. c. 104). The main part of the legislation affecting seamen in the merchant service occurs in the third part of this Act. Since 1854 numerous amending Acts have been passed, amounting to no less than eleven in number. They are cited collectively as "The Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 18S3." The enactment of a new consolidation Act is urgently required, and can be only a question of time. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, defines a seaman to be " every person (except masters, pilots, and apprentices duly indentured and registered) employed or engaged in any capacity on board any ship" (s. 2). It should be noticed that most of the enactments relating to merchant seamen do not affect seamen employed on foreign vessels, on fishing boats on the coasts of the United Kingdom, on vessels belonging to the Trinity House, the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, and the port of Dublin corporation, and on pleasure yachts. The princi-pal provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts dealing with seamen are as follows. Where no other reference is given, the Act of 1854 is intended. An elective local marine board under the general super-vision of the Board of Trade is appointed in the principal ports of the United Kingdom. One of the duties of the board is the estab-lishment of mercantile marine offices under superintendents or deputy superintendents. It is the general business of such officers to afford facilities for engaging seamen by keeping registries of their names and characters, to superintend and facilitate their engage-ment and discharge, to provide means for securing the presence on board at the proper times of men who are so engaged, and to facili-tate the making of apprenticeships to the sea service (s. 124). A seaman must be hired before a superintendent or deputy superin-tendent, an officer of customs, or a consular officer on a form sanc-tioned by the Board of Trade (usually called the shipping articles) containing the following particulars :—(1) the nature and, as far as practicable, the duration of the intended voyage or engagement, or the maximum period of the voyage or engagement, and the places or parts of the world (if any) to which the voyage or engagement is not to extend ; (2) the number and description of the crew, specifying how many are employed as sailors ; (3) the time at which each seaman is to be on board or to begin work ; (4) the capacity in which each seaman is to serve; (5) the amount of wages which each seaman is to receive ; (6) a scale of the provi-sions which are to be furnished to each seaman ; (7) any regulations as to conduct on board and as to fines, short allowance of provi-sions, or other lawful punishments for misconduct, which have been sanctioned by the Board of Trade as regulations proper to be adopted, and which the parties agree to adopt. Every agreement is to be framed so as to admit of stipulations as to allotment of wages, and may contain any other stipulations not contrary to law (s. 149, as amended by the Act of 1873 and the Merchant Seamen Act, 1880). Among illegal stipulations would fall any agreement by a seaman to give up his right to salvage, to forfeit his lien on the ship, or to be deprived of any remedy for the recovery of wages to which he would otherwise have been entitled (s. 182). In the case of foreign-going ships the following rules in addition must be observed :—(1) every agreement made in the United Kingdom (except agreements with substitutes) is to be signed by each seaman in the presence of the superintendent of a mercantile marine office; (2) the superin-tendent is to cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each seaman, or otherwise to ascertain that each seaman understands the same before he signs it, and is to attest each signature ; (3) the agreement is to be in duplicate, one part to be retained by the superintendent, the other by the master; (4) in the case of sub-stitutes, they are where possible to be engaged before a superin-tendent, in other cases the agreement is to be read over and ex-plained to the seaman by the master and signed by the seaman in the presence of a witness (s. 150). The only cases where no agree-ment in writing is necessary is where the hiring is for a coaster of less than eighty tons register or for a foreign vessel. In the case of union apprentices the indentures must be executed in the pre-sence of and attested by two justices. No stamp duty is charge-able on indentures for the sea service. In the case of foreign-going ships making voyages averaging less than six months in duration, running agreements with the crew may be made (s. 151). No person unlicensed by the Board of Trade, other than a master or mate or agent of the owner, may engage or supply seamen. The discharge of a seaman, like his engagement, must take place before a superintendent or an officer of equivalent authority. The seaman is entitled to receive a certificate of service and dis-charge. His wages must be paid within a limited time from his discharge, varying according to circumstances, and are not now dependent, as they were at common law, upon the earning of freight. If he is discharged before a month's wages are earned, he is entitled to a month's wages. As far as possible, payment is to be made in money and not by bill. In the absence of special stipulations, wages are not generally due until the contract of service is complete. By 8 Geo. I. c. 24, s. 7, a master may not advance a seaman more than half his wages while abroad. Sums recoverable as wages are, in addition to wages properly so called, the expenses of subsistence and of the voyage home when a ship is sold or transferred abroad, and the master floes not deposit with a consular officer a sufficient sum for the seaman's expenses pursu-ant to s. 205 ; the expenses of a seaman left behind or discharged from a British ship, or a British subject from a foreign ship, out of the United Kingdom ; allowance for short or bad pro-visions ; the moneys and effects of a deceased seaman who has been employed on a British ship ; expenses caused by illness from want of proper food and accommodation and medicines ; and double pay for every day, not exceeding ten, during which payment of wages is delayed without proper cause. Wages cannot be attached. They may be forfeited or reduced by desertion, wilful disobedience, smuggling, want of exertion in case of wreck, illness caused by neglect or default of the seaman, and misconduct of other kinds. Advance notes—that is, documents promising the future payment of money on account of a seaman's wages conditionally on his going to sea and made before the wages have been earned—are void, and no money paid in respect of an advance note can be deducted from the wages earned, Merchant Seamen (Payment of Wages and Eating) Act, 1880 (43 and 44 Vict. c. 16, s. 2). Allotment notes may be made in the form sanctioned by the Board of Trade, and may stipulate for the allotment of not more than half the seaman's wages in favour of a wife, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister (s. 169), or of a savings bank (43 and 44 Viet, c. 16, s. 3). Seamen's savings banks have been established and are administered by the Board of Trade, chiefly under the powers given by the Seamen's Savings Banks Act, 1856. If during the absence of a seaman on a voyage his wife and family become chargeable to the parish, two-thirds of his wages at the most are all that can be recovered by the parish. Careful provision is made for the custody of a deceased seaman's effects and wages, and their delivery to his representatives. The possibility of a seaman's being left destitute abroad is provided against by ss. 206, 207. Consular officers abroad are bound to send home any distressed or shipwrecked seaman, the expenses being chargeable upon the mercantile marine fund. Compensation is to be made for insufficiency or bad quality of provisions or water on board. If a complaint of the quality or sufficiency be frivolous, the persons complaining are liable to for-feit a week's wages. All foreign - going ships are to carry proper medicines and medical stores. Lime and lemon juice and other antiscorbutics are to be provided on ships bound to foreign ports other than ports in Europe and the north of North America. An ounce a day of lime or lemon juice is to be served to each member of the crew after the ship has been at sea for ten days (Act of 1867, 30 and 31 Vict. c. 124, s. 4). A foreign-going ship having one hundred persons or upwards on board must carry a qualified medical man (s. 130). Each seaman or apprentice is entitled to a space of not less than 72 cubic feet, the place to be securely constructed, properly lighted and ventilated, and properly protected from weather and sea, and as far as possible from effluvium caused by cargo or bilge-water. The place is to be inspected and certified by a surveyor of the Board of Trade, and to be kept free from goods and stores. The local marine board (or the Board of Trade where there is no local marine board) may appoint a medical inspector of seamen, who may on application by the master or owner report to the superintendent of the mercantile marine office as to whether any seaman is fit for duty (30 and 31 Vict. c. 124, ss. 9, 10).

Bye-laws and regulations relating to seamen's lodging-houses may be made by the sanitary authority of any seaport town with the sanction of the president of the Board of Trade. Such bye-laws and regulations are to provide for the licensing of seamen's lodging-houses, the inspection of the same, the sanitary conditions of the same, the publication of the fact of a house being licensed, the due execution of the bye-laws and regulations and the non-obstruction of persons engaged in securing such execution, the preventing of persons not duly licensed holding themselves out as keeping or purporting to keep licensed houses, and the exclusion from licensed houses of persons of improper character (46 and 47 Vict. c. 41, s. 48). Provision is made for the protection of seamen from im-position by crimps and lodging-house keepers. This protection may in certain cases be extended by order in council to foreign ships (s. 237, and 43 and 44 Vict. c. 16, ss. 5, 6). At the time of discharge of the crew in the United Kingdom a list in the form sanctioned by the Board of Trade is to be made out and delivered to a superintend-ent of a mercantile marine office containing, inter alia, the follow-ing particulars :—(1) the number and date of the ship's register and her registered tonnage ; (2) the length and general nature of the voyage or employment; (3) the Christian names, surnames, ages, and places of birth of all the crew, including the master and apprentices, their qualities on board, their last ships or other employments, and the dates and places of their joining the ship ; (4) the names of any members of the crew who have been maimed or hurt, with the times, places, causes, and circumstances thereof; (5) the wages due at the time of their respective deaths to any of the crew who have died; (6) the clothes and other effects belonging to any of the crew who have died, with a statement of the manner in which they have been dealt with, and the money for which any of them have been sold (s. 273). Every birth or death occurring at sea is to be recorded in the log-book and reported on arrival at any port in the United Kingdom to the registrar-general of shipping and seamen, who forwards a certified copy to the registrar-general of births and deaths (37 and 38 Vict. c. 88, s. 37). An official log-book in a form sanctioned by the Board of Trade is to be kept by the master of every ship except a coaster. It must contain, inter alia, (1) every legal conviction of any member of his crew and the punish-ment inflicted ; (2) every offence committed by any member of his crew for which it is intended to prosecute, or to enforce a forfeiture, or to exact a fine, together with a statement concerning the reading over of such entry and concerning the reply (if any) made to the charge; (3) every offence for which punishment is inflicted on board, and the punishment inflicted ; (4) a statement of the conduct, character, and qualifications of each of his crew, or a statement that he declines to give an opinion on such particulars; (5) every case of illness or injury happening to any member of the crew, with the nature thereof and the medical treatment adopted (if any) ; (6) the name of every seaman or apprentice who ceases to be a member of the crew, otherwise than by death, with the time, place, manner, and cause thereof; (7) the amount of wages due to any seaman who enters Her Majesty's service during the voyage; (8) the wages due to any seaman or apprentice wdio dies during the voyage, and the gross amount of all deductions to be made therefrom ; (9) the sale of the effects of any seaman or apprentice who dies during the voyage, including a statement of each article sold and of the sum received for it (s. 282). At common law there was no obligation of the owner to provide a seaworthy ship, but by the Act of 1876 every person who sends or attempts to send, or is party to sending or attempting to send, a British ship to sea in such unseaworthy state that the life of any person is likely to be thereby endangered is guilty of a misdemeanour, unless he proves that he used all reason-able means to insure her being sent to sea in a seaworthy state, or that her going to sea in such unseaworthy state was under the circumstances reasonable and justifiable. A master knowingly taking a British ship to sea in such unseaworthy state that the life of any person is likely to be thereby endangered is guilty of a mis-demeanour. In every contract of service between the owner and the master or any seaman and in every indenture of sea apprenticeship, an obligation is implied that the owner, master, and agent shall use all reasonable means to insure the seaworthiness of the ship (39 and 40 Vict. c. 80, ss. 4, 5). A return of certain particulars, such as lists of crews and of distressed seamen sent home from abroad, reports on discharge, births and deaths at sea, must be made to the registrar-general of shipping and seamen, an officer of the Board of Trade. The seaman is privileged in the matter of wills (see WILL), and is exempt from serving in the militia (42 Geo. III. c. 90, s. 43). Assaults upon seamen with intent to prevent them working at their occupation are punishable summarily by 24 and 25 Vict. c. 100, s. 40. There are special enactments in favour of Lascars and foreign seamen on British ships (see 4 Geo. IV. c. 80; 17 and 18 Vict.c. 104, s. 544; 17 and 18 Vict. c. 120, s. 16; 18 and 19 Viet. c. 91, s. 16). In addition to this legislation directly in his interest, the seaman is indirectly protected by the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts requiring the possession of certificates of competence by ships' officers, the periodical survey of ships by the Board of Trade, and the enactments against deck cargoes and overloading, as well as by 0.00other Acts, such as the Chain Cables and Anchors Acts, enforcing a minimum strength of cables and anchors, and the Passenger Acts, under which a proper supply of life-boats and life-buoys must be provided. The duties of the seamen appear to be to obey the master in all lawful matters relating to the navigation of the ship and to resist enemies, to encourage him in which he may become entitled to prize money under 22 and 23 Car. II. c. 11 (see PRIZE). Any services beyond these would fall under the head of salvage service and be recompensed accordingly. There are certain offences for which the seaman is liable to bo summarily punished under the Act of 1854. They comprise desertion, neglect or refusal to join his ship or absence without leave, quitting the ship without leave before she is placed in security, wilful disobedience to a lawful command, either on one occasion or continued, assault upon a master or mate, combining to disobey lawful commands or to neglect duty or to impede the navigation of the ship or the progress of the voyage, wilful damage to the ship, or embezzlement of or wilful damage to her stores or cargo, and smuggling. The punish-ment varies from forfeiture of all or part of his wages to twelve weeks' imprisonment (s. 243, as amended by the Merchant Seamen Act, 1880). A master, seaman, or apprentice who by wilful breach of duty, or by neglect of duty, or by reason of drunkenness, does any act tending to the immediate loss, destruction, or serious damage of the ship or to immediately endanger the life or limb of any person belonging to or on board of the ship, or who by wilful breach of duty, or by neglect of duty, or by reason of drunkenness refuses or omits to do any lawful act proper and requisite to be done by him for preserving the ship from immediate loss, destruc-tion, or serious damage, or for preserving any person belonging to or on board of the ship from immediate danger to life or limb, is guilty of a misdemeanour (s. 239). A seaman is also punishable at common law for piracy and by statute for piracy and offences against the Slave Trade Acts. A riotous assembly of seamen to prevent the loading or unloading of any ship or to prevent others from working is an offence under 33 Geo. III. c. 67 (see RIOT). Deserters from Portuguese ships are punishable by 12 and 13 Vict. c. 25, and from any foreign ship by 15 and 16 Vict. c. 26, of course by virtue of conventions with Portugal and other foreign powers. The rating of seamen is now regulated by the Merchant Seamen Act, 1880. By that Act a seaman is not entitled to the rating of " A.B." unless he has served four years before the mast, or three years or more in a registered decked fishing vessel and one year at sea in a trading vessel (43 and 44 Vict. c. 16, s. 7). The Act of 1854 enabled contributions to seamen's refuges and hospitals to be charged upon the mercantile marine fund. As a matter of fact, however, there appears to be no grant in support of seamen's hospitals out of any public funds. The principal seamen's hospital is that at Green-wich, established in 1821 and incorporated by 3 and 4 Will. IV. c. 9 under the name of '' The Seaman's Hospital Society." Up to 1870 this hospital occupied the old "Dreadnought" at Greenwich, but in that year it obtained the old infirmary of Greenwich Hospital from the admiralty at a nominal rent, in return for which a certain number of beds are to be at the disposal of the admiralty. The hospital is supported by voluntary contributions, including those of many foreign Governments, and has between its foundation and the end of 1884 relieved no less than 253,629 seamen of all nations. There is also a dispensary for seamen at the London Docks, and a floating hospital at Cardiff, equally supported by voluntary con-tributions. At one time there was an enforced contribution of six-pence a month from the pay of masters and seamen towards the funds of Greenwich Hospital, levied under the powers of some of the Greenwich Hospital Acts. The payment of these contributions enabled them to receive annuities from the funds of the hospital. These "Greenwich Hospital sixpences," however, became the source of very considerable irritation and have now been discontinued. In their place a purely voluntary seamen's provident fund has been established, its object being to persuade seamen to subscribe six-pence a month towards the seamen's hospital.

The remedies of the seaman for wages are an ordinary action in the Queen's Bench Division or plaint in a county court, an action in rem or in personam in the Admiralty Division of the High Court (in Scotland in the Court of Session), a Vice-Admiralty Court, or a county court having admiralty jurisdiction, or summary proceed-ings before justices, naval courts, or superintendents of mercantile marine offices. The master has now the same remedies as the sea-man for his wages, under which are included all disbursements made on account of the ship. At common law he had only a personal action against the owner. He has the additional advan-tage of being able to insure his wages, which a seaman cannot do. A common law action for wages is seldom brought, the statutory remedies being more convenient. By the Admiralty Court Act, 1861. the High Court of Justice (Admiralty Division) has juris-diction over any claim by a seaman of any ship for wages earned by him on board the ship, whether the same be due under a special contract or otherwise (24 Vict. c. 10, s. 10). This section has been liberally construed and held to apply to such persons as a surgeon, purser, pilot, carpenter, and steward. The ccart can entertain claims by foreign seamen against a foreign ship, on notice being given to the consul of the foreign country. If he protest, the court has a discretion to determine whether the action shall pro-ceed or not. A claim for wages in the High Court must be brought within six years (4 and 5 Anne, c. 3, s. 17). The Vice-Admiralty Court Act, 1863, gives jurisdiction in claims for wages irrespective of amount to vice-admiralty courts. A county court having admir-alty jurisdiction may entertain claims for wages where the amount claimed does not exceed £150 (31 and 32 Vict. c. 71, s. 3). The jurisdiction of the inferior court is protected by the proviso that, if the action bo brought in the High Court for a claim not exceeding £150, the plaintiff may be condemned in costs, and will not be entitled to costs if he recover less than this sum, unless the judge certifies that it was a proper case to be heard in the High Court (s. 9). In actions in all courts of admiralty jurisdiction the seaman has a maritime lien on the ship and freight, ranking next after claims for salvage and damage. The amount recoverable summarily before justices is limited to £50. Orders may be en-forced by distress of the ship and her tackle. Proceedings must be taken within six months. A naval court on a foreign station may determine questions as to wages without limit of amount. As a rule a seaman cannot sue abroad for wages due for a voyage to terminate in the United Kingdom. The superintendent of a mercantile marine office has power to decide any question whatever between a master or owner and any of his crew which both parties in writing agree to submit to him. These summary remedies are all given by the Act of 1854. The Merchant Seamen Act, 1880, further provides that, where a question as to wages is raised before a superintendent, if the amount in question does not exceed £5, the superintendent may adjudicate finally, unless he is of opinion that a court of law ought to decide it. The same Act extends the provisions of the Employers and Workmen Act, 1875, to seamen. The Act of 1875 itself specially excluded them. A county court or court of summary jurisdiction (the latter limited to claims not exceeding £10) may under the Act of 1875 determine all disputes between an employer and workman arising out of their relation as such. The jurisdiction of courts of summary jurisdiction is pro-tected by the enactment of the Act of 1854 that no proceeding for the recovery of wages under £50 is to be instituted in a superior court unless either the owner of the ship is bankrupt, or the ship is under arrest or sold bj' the authority of such court, or the justices refer the case to such court, or neither owner nor master is or resides within 20 miles of the place where the seaman is put ashore (s. 189). It should be noticed that claims upon allotment notes may be brought in all county courts and before justices without any limit as to amount (s. 169). In Scotland the sheriff court has concurrent jurisdiction with justices in claims for wages and upon allotment notes.

Fishermen.—The regulations respecting fishermen are contained chiefly in the Sea Fisheries Acts, 1868 and 1883, and in the Mer-chant Shipping (Fishing-Boats) Act, 1883. The Sea Fisheries Act of 1868 constituted a registry of fishing-boats, and that of 1883 gave powers of enforcing the provisions of the Acts to sea-fishery officers. The Merchant Shipping (Fishing-Boats) Act was passed in consequence of the occurrence of some cases of barbarous treat-ment of boys by the skippers of North Sea trawlers. The Act pro-vides, inter alia, that indentures of apprenticeship are to be in a certain form and entered into before a superintendent of a mercantile marine office, that no boy under thirteen is to be employed in sea-fishery, that agreements with seamen on a fishing-boat are to con-tain the same particulars as those with merchant seamen, that running agreements may be made in the case of short voyages, that reports of the narnes of the crew are to be sent to a superintendent of a mercantile marine office, and that accounts of wages and cer-tificates of discharge are to be given to seamen. No fishing-boat is to go to sea without a duly certified skipper. Provision is also made for special reports of cases of death, injury, ill-treatment, or punishment of any of the crew, and for inquiry into the cause of such death, &c. Disputes between skippers or owners and seamen are to be determined at request of any of the parties concerned by a superintendent. For special privileges of fishermen in the use of the seashore, see RIPARIAN LAWS. They are also exempt from Trinity House dues. There are numerous police provisions con-tained in various Acts of Parliament dealing with the breach of fishery regulations. These provisions act as an indirect protection to honest fishermen in their employment. The rights of British fishermen in foreign waters and foreign fishermen in British waters are in many cases regulated by treaty, generally confirmed in the United Kingdom by Act of Parliament. A royal fund for widows and orphans of fishermen has recently been formed, the nucleus of the fund being part of the profits of the Fisheries Exhibition held in London in 1883.

United States.—The law of the United States is in general accordance with that of England. The law relating to seamen in the navy will be found in the articles for the government of the navy [Revised Statutes, s. 1624). Legislation in the interests of merchant seamen dates from 1790. A list of the crew must be delivered to a collector of customs. The shipping articles are the same as those in use in the United Kingdom. For vessels in the coasting trade they are, with certain exceptions, to be in writing or in print. They must in the case of foreign-bound ships be signed before a shipping commissioner appointed by the circuit court or a collector of customs, or (if entered into abroad) a consular officer, where practi- cable, and must be acknowledged by his signature in a prescribed form. One-third of a seaman's wages earned up to that time is due at every port where the ship unlades and delivers her cargo before the voyage is ended. They must be fully paid in gold or its equiva- lent within twenty days of the discharge of the cargo. Advance notes can be made only in favour of the seaman himself or his wife or mother. There is a summary remedy for wages before a district court, a justice of the peace, or a commissioner of a district court. A shipping commissioner may act as arbitrator by written consent of the parties. Seaworthiness is an implied condition of the hiring. There may be an examination of the ship on the complaint of the mate and a majority of the crew. The expenses of an unnecessary investigation arc a charge upon the wages of those who complain. A seaman may not leave his ship without the consent of the master. For foreign - bound voyages a medicine-chest and antiscorbutics must be carried, also 60 gallons of water, 100 lb of salted meat, and 100 lb of wholesome bread for every person on board, and for every seaman at least one suit of woollen clothing, and fuel for the fire of the seaman's room. An assessment of forty cents per month per seaman is levied on every vessel arriving from a foreign port and on every registered coasting vessel in aid of the fund for the relief of sick and disabled seamen. In the navy a deduction of twenty cents per month from each man's pay is made for the same purpose. The offences and punishments are similar to those in the United Kingdom. There is also the additional offence of wearing a sheath knife on shipboard. (J. W†.)


1 For a fuller explanation of some of these terms, see Vice-Admiral W. H. Smyth, The Sailor's Word Book of Nautical Terms; Falconer's Marine Dictionary, enlarged by W. Burney ; P. L. Breslauer, Illustrated Nautical Polyglot (six languages).

The above article was written by: James Williams, B.C.L., Barrister-at-law.

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