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AUTHORITIES REFERRED TO.
Abbott-Law of Merchant Shipping.
The Elin, referred to at p. 148, is now reported in 8 P. D. 39. It has since been affirmed by the Court of Appeal, W. N., May, 1883, p. 86.
The Fairport (8 P. D. 48) is the most recent decision on the priority of liens for disbursements by shipmasters. See p. 149.
Burdick v. Sewell (10 Q. B. D. 363) shows that mere indorsement of a bill of lading, and delivery to an indorsee to secure advances, will not make him liable for the freight. See pp. 75, 124, 125.
Law of Shipping and Marine Insurance.
THE LAW OF SHIPPING.
$ 1. In English law all ships are classified under one of two British ships, heads, viz. either as British ships or as foreign ships.
who can own. A ship to be a British ship must belong (a) either to (1.) A natural-born British subject; (2.) A person made a denizen by letters of denization,
or naturalized under an Act of Parliament; pro-
in those dominions; or
United Kingdom, or some British dependency. If the ship does not belong to a member of any one of these three classes, she is not a British ship, but a foreign ship
A natural-born British subject, if he has taken the oath of allegiance to a foreign sovereign or state, cannot be an owner of a British ship; unless he afterwards take the oath of allegiance to the Queen and reside in British dominions,
(a) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 18,
or be a member of a firm or factory carrying on business within them.
A British incorporated company can own British ships,
though some of its shareholders are aliens (6). Privileges of British ships have alone the right to assume the a British ship.
national flag and character, and to demand the protection it affords (c). The right to assume the national flag and to the protection incident thereto are at the present day the only privileges belonging to a British ship. Formerly British ships had the exclusive right of importing goods into the United Kingdom and the colonies, and of carry
ing on the coasting trade (a). Unauthorized If the British flag be used on any ship owned, or even use of flag.
partly owned, by a person not entitled to own British ships, that ship will become forfeited to her Majesty, unless the flag be so used merely to avoid capture by an enemy. The ship may be brought for adjudication before any court in British dominions having Admiralty jurisdiction (e).
If the owner or master of a British ship conceals its British character by carrying false papers, or assumes a foreign character, the ship will become forfeited in the same manner (f), and the property therein will immediately become vested in the Crown ().
If any improper colours are hoisted on board a British ship, the master, or owner if on board, and all assisting in hoisting such colours, will become liable to a penalty not exceeding 5001. (9).
CASES. 1. One of the owners of a ship, a British subject, in 1874 falsely represented that she had been sold to foreigners, and sailed her
(6) Reg. v. Arnaud, 9 Q. B. 806.
(c) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 106;
(d) Smith's Merc. Law, p. 172.
(f) Ib.; Robert v. Witherhead, 12 Mod. 92; Wilkins v. Despard, 5 T. R. 112; The Annandale, 2 P. D. 218; The Sceptre, 35 L. T. 429 ; see “Cases" at end of this g.
(9) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 105.
under the Belgian flag, intending to conceal the British character of the ship. The ship was, in 1876, purchased by a foreigner bona fide, and for valuable consideration, without any knowledge of the concealment. In a cause of forfeiture instituted against the ship by a British officer of customs, it was held that the purchaser had no claim to the ship, the property therein having vested in the Crown immediately on the false representation having been made(h).
2. The owner of a British ship represented to the collector of customs that his ship had been sold to foreigners, and so procured the closing of the registry. He then sailed her under a foreign certificate of registry, and under a foreign flag, continuing all the time to own her and receive her earnings. The owner intended by his acts to conceal her British character, and to prevent her being seized as unseaworthy. The ship was declared forfeited (i).
$ 2. A British ship, to have the privileges mentioned above, Registration
of British must be registered (k); unless it be either
ships. (1.) A coasting or river vessel not exceeding fifteen tons; (2.) A coasting or fishing vessel, employed on the coast
of Newfoundland or in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,
and not exceeding thirty tons. No ship is absolutely required to be registered, registration being only necessary to acquire the character and privileges of a British ship (k). However, no customhouse officer may grant a transire or clearance for a ship till the master declares her nationality (l). If the vessel try to sail without such transire, she may be detained.
The persons to register British ships are the principal custom officers; or if, in the case of a British possession, there be no custom officer, the governor or administrator (m).
(n) The Annandale, 2 P. D. 218 Vict. c. 80, s. 23, as to rules for (C. A.).
ascertaining tonnage. (i) The Sceptre, 35 L. T. 429. (1) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, ss. 19,
(k) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 19; 102. see 31 & 32 Vict. c. 45 (Sea Fish- (m) Ib. ss. 30, 31; 21 & 22 Vict. eries Act), as to registering fishing c. 106; City of Dublin Steam Packet boats; and 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, Co. v. Thompson, L. R., 1 C. P. 89. 20—24, and s. 27; and 39 & 40 355.