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vessels engaged in the coastwise trade, (except the coastwise trade between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts,) or in the lake-going trade touching at foreign ports or otherwise, or in the trade between the United States and the British North American possessions, or in any case where the seamen are by custom or agreement entitled to participate in the profits or result of a cruise, or voyage. (June 9, 1874; June 19, 1886; Feb. 18, 1895.)
Shipping commissioners may ship and discharge crews for any vessel engaged in the coastwise trade, or the trade between the United States and the Dominion of Canada, or Newfoundland, or the West Indies, or the Republic of Mexico, at the request of the master or owner of such vessel, the shipping and discharging fees in such cases to be one-half that prescribed by section forty-six hundred and twelve of the Revised Statutes, for the purpose of determining the compensation of shipping commissioners. (June 19, 1886, sec. 2.)
When a crew is shipped by a shipping commissioner for any American vessel in the coast wise trade, or the trade between the United States and the Dominion of Canada, or New Foundland, or the West Indies, or Mexico, as authorized by section two of an Act approved June nineteenth, eighteen hundred and eighty-six, entitled "An Act to abolish certain fees for official services to American vessels, and to amend the laws relating to shipping commissioners, seamen, and owners of vessels, and for other purposes," an agreement shall be
, made with each seaman engaged as one of such crew in the same manner as is provided by Sections four thousand five hundred and eleven and four thousand five hundred and twelve of the Revised Statutes, not however including the sixth and eighth items of Section four thousand five hundred and eleven; and such agreement shall be posted as provided in Section four thousand five hundred and nineteen, and such seamen shall be discharged and receive their wages as provided by the first clause of Section four thousand five hundred and twenty-nine and also by Sections four thousand five hundred and twenty-six, four thousand five hundred and twentyseven, four thousand five hundred and twenty-eight, four thousand five hundred and thirty, four thousand five hundred and thirty-five, four thousand five hundred and thirty-six, four thousand five hundred and forty-two, four thousand five hundred and forty-three, four thousand five hundred and forty-four, four thousand five hundred and forty-five, four thousand five hundred and forty-six, four thousand five hundred and forty-seven, four thousand five hundred and forty-nine, four thousand five hundred and fifty, four thousand five hundred and fifty-one, four thousand five hundred and fiftytwo, four thousand five hundred and fifty-three, four thousand five hundred and fifty-four and four thousand six hundred and two of the Revised Statutes; but in all other respects such shipments of seamen and such shipping agreement shall be regarded as if both shipment and agreement had been entered into between the master of a vessel and a seaman without going before a shipping commissioner. (Feb. 18, 1895; Mar. 3, 1897, sec. 8; Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 25.) Agreement in Coasting Trade not Before Commissioner.
Every master of any vessel of the burden of fifty tons or upward, bound from a port in one State to a port in any other than an adjoining State, except vessels of the burden of seventy-five tons or
upward, bound from a port on the Atlantic to a port on the Pacific, or vice versa, shall, before he proceeds on such voyage, make an agreement in writing or in print, with every seaman on board such vessel except such as shall be apprentice or servant to himself or owners, declaring the voyage or term of time for which such seaman shall be shipped. (R. S. 4520.)
If any master of such vessel of the burden of fifty tons or upward shall carry out any seaman or mariner, except apprentices or servants, without such contract or agreement being first made and signed by the seamen, such master shall pay to every such seaman the highest price or wages which shall have been given at the port or place where such seaman was shipped, for a similar voyage, within three months next before the time of such shipping, if such seaman shall perform such voyage; or if not, then for such time as he shall continue to do duty on board such vessel; and shall moreover be liable to a penalty of twenty dollars for every such seaman, recoverable, one-half to the use of the person prosecuting for the same, and the other half to the use of the United States. Any seaman who has not signed such contract shall not be bound by the regulations nor subject to the penalties and forfeitures contained in this Title [R. S. 4501–4613]. (R. S. 4521.)
At the foot of every such contract to ship upon such a vessel of the burden of fifty tons or upward there shall be a memorandum in writing of the day and the hour when such seamen who shipped and subscribed shall render himself on board to begin the voyage agreed upon. If any seaman shall neglect to render himself on board the vessel for which he has shipped at the time mentioned in such memorandum without giving twenty-four hours' notice of his inability to do so, and if the master of the vessel shall, on the day in which such neglect happened, make an entry in the log book of such vessel of the name of such seaman, and shall in like manner note the time that he so neglected to render himself after the time appointed, then every such seaman shall forfeit for every hour which he shall so neglect to render himself one-half of one day's pay, according to the rate of wages agreed upon, to be deducted out of the wages. If any such seaman shall wholly neglect to render himself on board of such vessel, or having rendered himself on board shall afterwards desert, he shall forfeit all of his wages or emoluments which he has then earned. [This section shall not apply to fishing or whaling vessels or yachts, Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 26.] (R. S. 4522; Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 2.) Agreement with Fishermen.
The master of any vessel of the burden of twenty tons or upward, qualified according to law for carrying on the bank and other cod fisheries, or the mackerel-fishery, bound from a port of the United States to be employed in any such fishery, at sea, shall, before proceeding on such fishing-voyage, make an agreement in writing with every fisherman who may be employed therein, except only an apprentice or servant of himself or owner, and, in addition to such terms of shipment as may be agreed on, shall, in such agreement, express whether the same is to continue for one voyage or for the fishing-season, and shall also express that the fish or the proceeds of such fishing-voyage or voyages which may appertain to the fishermen shall be divided among them in proportion to the quantities or number of such fish which they may respectively have caught. Such agreement shall be indorsed or countersigned by the owner of such fishing-vessel or his agent. (R. S. 4391.)
If any fisherman, having engaged himself for a voyage or for the fishing season in any fishing-vessel and signed an agreement therefor, thereafter and while such agreement remains in force and to be performed deserts or absents himself from such vessel without leave of the master thereof, or of the owner or his agent, such deserter shall be liable to the same penalties as deserting seamen are subject to in the merchant service, and may in the like manner, and upon the like complaint and proof, be apprehended and detained; and all costs of process and commitment, if paid by the master or owner, shall be deducted out of the share of fish or proceeds of any fishing-voyage to which such deserter had or shall become entitled. Every fisherman, having so engaged himself, who during such fishing-voyage refuses or neglects his proper duty on board the fishing-vessel, being thereto ordered or required by the master thereof, or otherwise resists his just commands to the hindrance or detriment of such voyage, besides being answerable for all damages arising thereby, shall forfeit to the use of the owner of such vessel his share of any public allowance which may be paid upon such voyage. (R. S. 4392.)
Whenever an agreement or contract is so made and signed for a fishing-voyage or for the fishing-season, and any fish caught on board such vessel during the same are delivered to the owner or to his agent, for cure, and sold by such owner or agent, such vessel shall, for the term of six months after such sale, be liable for the master's and every other fisherman's share of such fish, and may be proceeded against in the same form and to the same effect as any other vessel is by law liable, and may be proceeded against for the wages of seamen or mariners in the merchant service. Upon such proceeding for the value of a share or shares of the proceeds of fish so delivered and sold it shall be incumbent on the owner or his agent to produce a just account of the sales and division of such fish according to such agreement or contract; otherwise the vessel shall be answerable upon such proceeding for what may be the highest value of the shares demanded. But in all cases the owner of such vessel or his agent, appearing to answer in such proceeding, may offer thereupon his account of general supplies made for such fishing-voyage and of other supplies therefor made to either of the demandants, and shall be allowed to produce evidence thereof in answer to their demands respectively; and judgment shall be rendered upon such proceeding for the respective balances which upon such an inquiry shall appear. (R. S. 4393.)
When process shall be issued against any vessel so liable, if the owner thereof or his agent will give bond to each fisherman in whose favor such process shall be instituted, with sufficient security, to the satisfaction of two justices of the peace, of whom one shall be named by such owner or agent, and the other by the fisherman or fishermen pursuing such process, or if either party shall refuse, then the justice first appointed shall name his associate, with condition to answer and pay
whatever sum shall be recovered by him or them on such process, there shall be an immediate discharge of such vessel. Nothing in this
or the preceding section shall prevent any fisherman from having his action at common law for his share or shares of fish or the proceeds thereof. (R. S. 4394.) Discharge in Foreign Trade.
All seamen discharged in the United States from merchant vessels engaged in voyages from a port in the United States to any foreign port, or, being of the burden of seventy-five tons or upward, from a port on the Atlantic to a port on the Pacific, or vice versa, shall be discharged and receive their wages in the presence of a duly authorized shipping-commissioner under this Title [R. S. 4501-4613], except in cases where some competent court otherwise directs; and any master or owner of any such vessel who discharges any such seaman belonging thereto, or pays his wages within the United States in any other manner, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than fifty dollars. (R. S. 4549.)
Every master shall, not less than forty-eight hours before paying off or discharging any seaman, deliver to him, or, if he is to be discharged before a shipping-commissioner, to such shipping-commissioner, a full and true account of his wages, and all deductions to be made therefrom on any account whatsoever; and in default shall, for each offense, be liable to a penalty of not more than fifty dollars. No deduction from the wages of any seaman except in respect of some matter happening after such delivery shall be allowed, unless it is included in the account delivered; and the master shall, during the voyage, enter the various matters in respect to which such deductions are made, with the amounts of the respective deductions as they occur, in the official log-book, and shall, if required, produce such book at the time of the payment of wages, and, also, upon the hearing, before any competent authority, of any complaint or question relating to . such payment. (R. S. 4550.)
Upon the discharge of any seaman, or upon payment of his wages, the master shall sign and give him a certificate of discharge, specifying the period of his service and the time and place of his discharge, in the form marked Table B in the schedule annexed to this Title [R. S. 4501–4613]; and every master who fails to sign and give to such seaman such certificate and discharge, shall, for each such offense, incur a penalty not exceeding fifty dollars. But whenever the master shall discharge his crew or any part thereof in any collection-district where no shipping-commissioner has been appointed, he may perform for himself the duties of such commissioner. (R. S. 4551.) Discharge in Foreign Ports.
Upon the application of the master of any vessel to a consular officer to discharge a seaman, or upon the application of any seaman for his own discharge, if it appears to such officer that said seaman has completed his shipping agreement, or is entitled to his discharge under any act of Congress or according to the general principles or usages of maritime law as recognized in the United States, such officer shall discharge said seaman, and require from the master of said vessel, before such discharge shall be made, payment of the wages which
then be due said seaman; but no payment of extra wages shall be required by any consular officer upon such discharge
of any seaman except as provided in this act. (R. S. 4580; June 26, 1884, sec...)
If any consular officer, when discharging any seaman, shall neglect to require the payment of and collect the arrears of wages and extra wages required to be paid in the case of the discharge of any seaman, he shall be accountable to the United States for the full amount thereof. The master shall provide any seaman so discharged with employment on a vessel agreed to by the seaman, or shall
provide him with one month's extra wages, if it shall be shown to the satisfaction of the consul that such seaman was not discharged for neglect of duty, incompetency, or injury incurred on the vessel. If the seaman is discharged by voluntary consent before the consul, he shall be entitled to his wages up to the time of his discharge, but not for any further period. If the seaman is discharged on account of injury or illness, incapacitating him for service, the expenses of his maintenance and return to the United States shall be paid from the fund for the maintenance and transportation of destitute American seamen: Provided, That at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce, and under such regulations as he may prescribe, if any seaman incapacitated from service by injury or illness is on board a vessel so situated that a prompt discharge requiring the personal appearance of the master of the vessel before an American consul or consular agent is impracticable, such seaman may be sent to a consul or consular agent, who shall care for him and defray the cost of his maintenance and transportation, as provided in this paragraph. (R. S. 4581; Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 16; Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 19.)
Whenever a vessel of the United States is sold in a foreign country and her company discharged, it shall be the duty of the master to produce to the consular officer a certified list of the ship's company, and also the shipping articles, and besides paying to each seaman or apprentice the wages due him, he shall either provide him with adequate employment on board some other. vessel bound to the port at which he was originally shipped, or to such other port as may be agreed upon by him, or furnish the means of sending him to such port, or provide him with a passage home, or deposit with the consular officer such a sum of money as is by the officer deemed sufficient to defray the expenses of his maintenance and passage home; and the consular officer shall indorse upon the agreement with the crew of the ship which the seaman or apprentice is leaving the particulars of any payment, provision, or deposit made under this section. A failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall render the owner liable to a fine of not exceeding fifty dollars. (R. S. 4582; Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 17.)
Whenever on the discharge of a seaman in a foreign country by a consular officer on his complaint that the voyage is continued contrary to agreement, or that the vessel is badly provisioned or unseaworthy, or against the officers for cruel treatment, it shall be the duty of the consul or consular agent to institute a proper inquiry into the matter, and, upon his being satisfied of the truth and justice of such complaint, he shall require the master to pay to such seaman one month's wages over and above the wages due at the time of discharge, and to provide him with adequate employ