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unable to procure additional seamen, promised those who remained with him extra wages, if they would assist in taking the ship to her next port. Held, that they could recover such extra wages, as they were not bound to proceed on a voyage involving risk of life (t).
$ 27. Remuneration A seaman is entitled to his wages, provided he remain of seamen.
on board, though he cannot work through illness or hurt (u) not caused by his own wilful act or default (x). So he will be entitled to his wages accruing during an embargo, provided the vessel afterwards completes her voyage (y).
By the ancient rule of maritime law “freight was the mother of wages,” but now a seaman or apprentice on board a British or colonial ship is entitled to his wages though the freight has not been earned; provided that if the vessel be lost, it is not proved that he did not exert himself to the utmost to save the ship, its cargo, and stores (s).
But in the case of a foreign vessel, it seems that his wages will depend on freight being earned.
If a seaman die during the voyage for which he was engaged, his personal representatives may recover a proportionate part of his wages, unless he took a promissory note from his employer for a certain sum in payment for his services during the voyage (a).
When a seaman who has signed an agreement is improperly discharged before the commencement of the voyage, or before one month's wages are earned, he can recover compensation not exceeding one month's wages (6).
If the ship be wrecked or lost, or if the seaman be left on shore under a certificate of illness or incompetency,
(1) Hartley v. Ponsonby, 26 L. J.,
(u) Abbott, Pt. V. Ch. II. 8. 1.
(y) Beale v. Thompson, 4 East,
(z) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, ss. 183 and 109.'
(a) Armstrong v. Smith, 1 Bos. & Pul. N. R. 299 ; Cutter v. Powell, 6 T. R. 320; see “ Cases” (2) and (3) at end of this g.
(6) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 167.
the seaman can only claim wages for the period he has served (c).
A seaman's right to wages and provisions commences either when he begins work, or at the date fixed in the agreement for his commencement of work, or for his presence on board, whichever occurs first (d).
CASES. 1. A British ship was seized by the Russian Government under pretence of precaution against a supposed hostile act of the British Government, and its crew imprisoned on shore. The seamen, being released after six months, resumed and concluded their voyage. IIeld, that such a seizure so far partook of the nature of an embargo, and not of a capture, that it did not determine the contract as to wages; and that the seamen could therefore recover their wages (e).
2. The captain of a vessel accounted to the collector of the port for a sum of money as wages due to a deceased seaman, and paid the same to Greenwich Hospital under 37 Geo. III. c. 73. Held, that the personal representatives of the deceased seaman could nevertheless sue the captain for any wages due beyond the sum so paid ($).
3. The defendant, at Jamaica, signed and delivered to Cutter a promissory note for thirty guineas, “provided he proceeds, continues and does his duty as second mate" on board the ship from Jamaica to Liverpool. The vessel left Jamaica on 2nd August, and arrived at Liverpool on 9th October. Cutter sailed with the vessel, and acted as second mate till his death on the 20th September, before the completion of the voyage. His personal representatives were held not entitled to recover wages even for the time he acted as second mate (9).
$ 28. Any allotment by any seaman of any part of his wages Allotment of accruing during his absence, if made at the commence- conditional ment of the voyage, must be inserted in the agreement.
advance notes. Allotment notes can be sued on summarily or in the county court by the wife, children or certain other near relatives of a seaman, when made in their favour, on certain
conditions being complied with (n). Allotment notes must be in the form prescribed by the Board of Trade (i).
Conditional advance notes, i.e., any documents authorizing or promising the future payment of money in respect of a seaman's wages conditionally on his going to sea from any port of the United Kingdom, and made before those wages shall have been earned, are absolutely void (k). Moneys paid in satisfaction or respect of such conditional advance notes cannot be deducted from a seaman's wages, and no right of action or set-off can be founded on such payments (?).
An agreement by a seaman to forfeit his wages if the vessel be lost, or to give up his lien on the ship or his action for his wages, or to abandon any right he may have in the nature of salvage, is void (m). But a stipulation made by seamen belonging to a ship, which is by the terms of the agreement to be employed on salvage services, with respect to their remuneration for salvage services, will be valid (n). So seamen entitled to salvage remuneration can arrange through their solicitor for the apportionment of the amount due to them (o).
After a seaman has agreed to serve, no debt incurred by him exceeding five shillings can be recovered till the termination of the voyage (p).
Wages of a seaman are not liable to arrestment or attachment by any court (9).
CASE. The plaintiff, the temporary master of a steam-tug belonging to a company whose business it was to render towage and salvage services, rendered ordinary salvage services to a ship in distress. By a special agreement, of which the plaintiff knew, the company's seamen
were paid a per-centage on all towage and salvage monies earned by the tug, in addition to their fixed wages. Held, salvage remuneration, independently of this agreement, could not be claimed (r).
§ 29. Seamen discharged in the United Kingdom from a Paying-off British foreign-going ship must be discharged and paid off by the master or owner before a shipping master, who has power to decide any question between them, which both parties agree by writing to submit to him (8). Seamen of home-trading ships may be discharged and paid in a similar manner.
In the case of foreign-going ships, each seaman on lawfully leaving the ship on the termination of his agreement must be paid on account 21., or one-fourth of the balance due to him, whichever is the smaller sum. The remainder of his wages must be paid within two clear days (exclusive of Sundays and bank holidays) after he leaves the ship (t). Should the seaman consent, the final settlement of his wages may be left to the superintendent of a mercantile marine office (w).
Whenever any delay arises in paying or settling a seaman's wages through the act or default of the master or
wages continue to run on and be payable until they are finally settled (x).
If the claim be disputed, the superintendent can, if the wages due do not exceed 51., adjudicate. His decision will be final. He can, however, refuse to decide it, if he thinks the question is one for a court of law (y).
If after the agreement is signed, a seaman be, without his fault, discharged before the commencement of the voyage or before one month's wages are earned, he can recover one month's wages as compensation in addition to the wages due (-).
In any discharge and settlement of wages before a (r) The Ganges, L. R., 2 A. & E. (u) Ib. sub-s. 3. 370.
(x) Ib. sub-s. 4. (s) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, ss. 170, (y) Ib. sub-s. 5. 173 and 174.
() 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 167. (c) 43 & 44 Vict. c. 16, s. 4.
Discharge of seamen abroad.
shipping master, the master or owner and each seaman must sign a mutual release of all claims in respect of the past voyage or engagement before the shipping master, who must attest it (a). In the event of the final settlement of wages being left to a superintendent of a mercantile marine office, the receipt by the superintendent will operate as a release by the seaman (6).
The master must deliver an account of wages due and all deductions to be made therefrom, otherwise such deductions will not be allowed (c). He must also make and sign a report of the conduct and qualifications of any man discharged before a shipping-master (d).
$ 30. If a seaman be discharged abroad, the master must both give him a certificate of discharge and furnish him with employment in a British vessel sailing to the port at which he was shipped, or pay his expenses home, in addition to paying him the wages due to him (e).
Wilfully forcing on shore and leaving behind a seaman or apprentice during the voyage is a misdemeanor (f).
If a master of a British ship discharge or leave behind a seaman or apprentice anywhere without the written certificate of a shipping master or the British consular officer, he commits a misdemeanor (9).
If a seaman or apprentice be improperly discharged or left abroad, his wages and the cost of providing for him and sending him home, will be . a charge on the ship, whether British or foreign, to which he belonged; and may be recovered by the Board of Trade (). Till he is sent home he must be maintained by the British governor or consul (if any) in the foreign country (i).
(a) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 175. (f) Ib. s. 206.
(6) 43 & 44 Vict. c. 16, s. 4, (9) Ib. s. 207; as to abandoning sub-s. 3; 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, Lasears, see 17 & 18 Vict. c. 120, ss. 122, 123.
(c) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 171; (h) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 213; 43 & 44 Vict. c. 16, 8. 4, sub-s. 2. 18 & 19 Vict. c. 91, s. 16.
(d) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 176. (i) 17 & 18 Vict. c. 104, s. 211. (e) Ib. s. 205.