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Papers to sately kept.
When Consul may return papers.
diately sent to the Department of State, giving the name and a description of the vessel, the port to which she belongs, where bound, and the usual residence of the master. In such a case, it is desirable that the Consular Officer should send some other evidence of the arrival and departure of the delinquent master with his vessel besides that of his own certificate, as it has been held that such evidence of any fact is not sufficient, unless expressly or impliedly made so by statute.
155. When the ship's papers are received, they are to be kept together in as safe a place as possible, to guard against fire and other accidents; and the Consular Officer, on receiving such papers, shall give a certificate of the fact (see Form No. 13), or a receipt under seal, and make an entry in his Consular record, specifying the time of delivery, the name of the vessel, the master, and the character of the papers deposited.
156. Whenever the master shall produce the clearance of his vessel from the proper officer of the port, and shall pay to the Consular Officer the arrears of wages and the extra wages that may be due for every seaman discharged at his port and such fees as are collectible, under the law and these regulations, and shall, if bound to some port of the United States direct, take on board, at the request of the Consular Officer, such destitute mariners as shall be designated by him for transportation to the United States (not Act June 26, exceeding one man to every 100 tons burthen of the vessel, on any one voyage); then he shall be entitled to the return of all the ship's papers deposited with the Consular Officer. On return of certificate, as in Form No. 13, there should be given with the papers a new certificate, as in Form No. 14.
1884. 23 Stat., 53, Bec. 9.
157. Until all these provisions of law are complied with, the Consular Officer should retain the papers, although the clearance may be regular and in due form. And, generally, a Consular Officer may refuse to deliver up a vessel's papers, until all his lawful official demands, whether for wages, extra wages, or otherwise, have been complied with. He has no authority, however, to withhold a ship's papers to compel the payment of the demands of creditors against the vessel.
Ship's papers to
be sent to Depart
158. When a master sails from a port, leaving, from whatever cause, the ship's papers in the hands of the Consular ment. Officer, it is the duty of the Consular Officer to transmit them without delay to the Department of State, together with a full statement of the facts and circumstances under which he retained them.
159. Whenever any master or commander of a vessel of the United States has occasion for any Consular or other official service which any Consular Officer of the United States shall be authorized by law or usage officially to perform, and for which any fees are allowed by the rates or tariffs of fees, he shall apply to such one of said officers as may then be officially residing at the Consulate, if any there be where such service shall be required, to perform such service, and the masters of foreign-built vessels, wholly owned by citizens of the United States, shall pay to such Consular Officer the fees lawfully chargeable for such service.
Consular fees to be paid. R. S., sec. 1718.
Attorney-Gene ral, July 20, 1885.
To require writ ten statement of
R. S., sec. 4213. Act June 26, 1884. 23 Stat., 5, sec. 13.
160. It is the duty of all masters of vessels for whom any official service shall be performed by any Consular Officer, services. without the payment of a fee to require a written statement of such services from such Consular Officer and after certifying as to whether such statement is correct, to furnish it to the collector of the district in which such vessels shall first arrive, on their return to the United States; and if any such master of a vessel shall fail to furnish such statement he shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding fifty dollars, unless he shall state, under oath, that no such statement was furnished him by the Consular Officer. When, however, the Consular Officer who performs the services is one who receives a fixed salary, the above requirement of a written statement of services to be given the master is waived, except in cases where official fees or charges, or extra wages or arrears of wages of seamen, are actually collected, in which cases the receipts for the moneys are to be received by the masters and delivered to the collector, as provided.
161. Every master of a merchant-vessel of the United States engaging a seaman at a place out of the United States in which there is a Consular Officer is required by law to
Shipment of sea
R. S., secs. 4517,
Consul's duty. R. S., secs. 1736, 4317.
Rules as to ship. ment.
procure the sanction of such Officer, and to engage the seaman before him. The agreement is to be made as shown in Form No. 15. and must be signed in duplicate by the master before any seaman signs. Each seaman must sign in duplicate in presence of the Consular Officer, and such Officer shall indorse upon the agreement his sanction thereof and an attestation to the effect that the same has been signed in his presence, and made as required by law. (Form No. 16.)
162. Consular Officers will be particular to see that the engagements of seamen are signed in their presence by the seamen, or in the presence of some duly authorized employé of the Consulate, and that the terms and conditions of engagement are clearly understood by them. This injunction should be carefully observed in view of the grave abuses that have arisen from the shipping of the seamen by unauthorized shipping agents, and without a knowledge of the terms of contract or of the kind of service for which they were engaged.
163. The rules governing the engagement of seamen beR. S., secs. 4516; fore a shipping commissioner in the United States, as laid down in Title LIII of the Revised Statutes, apply also to such engagements made before a Consular Officer. A master engaging a seaman in any place abroad where a Consular office is located, otherwise than in accordance with that Title, incurs a penalty of not more than one hundred dollars, for which the vessel is liable. The shipment of a seaman under such circumstances is void; the seaman may leave the ship at any time, and shall be entitled to recover the highest wages at the port of shipment, or the sum agreed to be given him at the date of shipment. In case, however, of loss by desertion or casualty, the master may ship a number of seamen equal to the number so lost, without incurring the penalty, provided he reports the loss or desertion to the Consular Officer at the first port at which he shall arrive. The seamen must then be formally engaged and entered on the shipping articles.
Seamen may be tired in foreign Lort, &c.
Act June 26,
1984, secs. 19 and
23 Stat., 58.
164. Every master of a vessel in the foreign trade may engage any seaman at any port out of the United States, in the manner provided by law, to serve for one or more round trips from and to the port of departure, or for a definite
time, whatever the destination; and the master of a vessel clearing from a port of the United States with one or more seamen so engaged in a foreign port shall not be required to reship in a port of the United States such seamen, nor to give bond, as required by section 4576 of the Revised Statutes, to produce such seamen before a boarding officer on the return of said vessel to the United States. And the master of a vessel in the foreign trade may engage a seaman at any port in the United States, in the manuer provided by law, to serve in a voyage to any port, or for the round trip from and to the port of departure, or for a definite time, whatever the destination. So, too, the master of a vessel making regular and stated trips between the United States and a foreign country may engage a seaman for one or more round trips, or for a definite time, or on the return of said vessel to the United States may reship such seaman for another voyage in the same vessel, in the manner provided by law, without the payment of additional fees to any officer for such reshipment or re-engagement. It will thus be seen that a master has full power to ship his crew, or any part of it, "by the run," or for a given port or time, or for a round trip, and such shipments may be made either in foreign or domestic ports. (See paragraph 173.)
R. S., sec. 4575.
165. The shipping articles are deemed to contain all the shipping articles, conditions of the contract with the crew as to service, pay, voyage, and all other things, and must be produced by the master to any Consular Officer whenever the latter may think them necessary to the discharge of his duties towards any seaman who may require his assistance, or for any other proper purpose connected with his duties to the vessel or crew. The shipping articles, the evidence of the seaman's contract, are construed with great liberality, and most favorably to the seaman. And a seaman may show by parol that untrue statements were made to induce him to sign; and that the voyage and time of service described in the articles were different from the voyage and time of service described to him before he signed. And all interlineations, erasures, or alterations are presumed to be fraudulent, unless satisfactorily explained, or unless they are immaterial.
The Domingo, 1
Seamen on Amer ican or foreign built vessels.
When new shipping articles are used.
166. In the case of American or foreign built vessels purchased abroad and wholly owned by American citizens it is known that the crews are usually made up of men who are not American citizens and who have not acquired the character of American seamen under the law as set forth in paragraph 170. Seamen of this class, when not serving under a contract made in the United States, are not regarded as within the jurisdiction of a Consular Officer as to their shipment or discharge. But seamen engaging on such vessels who are American citizens, and foreigners who have acquired and maintained the character of American seamen, are to be shipped and discharged before the Consular Officer in the same manner as seamen on regularly documented vessels.
167. The attention of the Department has been called to instances in which masters of vessels, in shipping seamen in foreign ports, have shipped them on new shipping articles when the original articles had not been filled up and could have been used for the purpose. Consular Officers will be careful to enter the shipment of seamen on the original articles until the space is exhausted; and whenever it becomes necessary to use additional articles they should firmly attach them to the original articles in such a manner, either as prescribed for the attachment of the Consular certificate to an invoice, or otherwise, that the new articles cannot be separated from the original without discovery or mutilation. 168. Complaints have been made in regard to the employment of shipping agents in foreign ports for the shipment of seamen, and it is represented that at some Consulates undue facilities are granted to favored shipping masters to the exclusion of others of equal respectability, and even to prohibiting the latter from transacting business with the Consulate. The selection of an agent to obtain seamen for shipment belongs to the master of the vessel, and in the absence of controlling local regulation, he is at liberty to employ any person he may see fit. The Consular Officer has no authority to interfere, nor to confer upon any shipping agent privileges which are not conceded to others. He is also without authority to designate such an agent as specially employed by the Consulate, or to permit an agent to use a title,