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as "American Shipping Agent," or "United States Shipping Agent," indicative of a special relation to the Consulate. While it is expected that a Consular Officer will inform himself as to the character of such agents, and will, on the request of a master, recommend such as he believes to be efficient and trustworthy, he is forbidden to insist upon the employment of any particular agent. Abuses that have arisen in these respects require that attention should be called to them; and any authenticated instance of such partiality or favoritism which shall be reported to the Department of State will incur its marked disapproval.
R. S., sec. 4204.
169. It is made the duty of all vessels belonging to citi-Master to receive zens of the United States bound from a foreign port to a port in the United States, before clearance, to receive on board all such bullion, coin, United States notes and bonds, and other securities as any Minister, Consul, Vice Consul, or Commercial or other Agent of the United States abroad shall offer, and to securely convey and promptly deliver the same to the proper authorities or consiguees on arriving at the port of destination. For such service they shall receive such reasonable compensation as may be allowed to other carriers in the ordinary transactions of business. But all compulsory laws and parts of laws that oblige American vessels to carry the mails to and from the United States, arbitrarily, or But not the mails. that prevent the clearance of vessels until they shall have taken mail matter on board, are repealed.
American Seamen-Discharge of Seamen.
170. Consular Officers are instructed that the following are to be regarded as American seamen within the meaning of the laws relating to the discharge, relief, wages, and extra wages of seamen, viz:
1. Seamen, being citizens of the United States, regularly shipped in an American vessel, whether in a port of the United States or in a foreign port.
Act June 26, 1884.
23 Stat., 53, sec.
American sea. men detined. R. S., sec. 4612.
R. S., sec. 2174.
2. Foreigners regularly shipped in an American vessel in a port of the United States.
3. Seamen, being foreigners by birth, regularly shipped in an American vessel, whether in a port of the United States or a foreign port, who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, and have served three years thereafter on American merchant-vessels. For the purpose, however, of protection, as against the claims upon them of other nationalities, such seamen are to be deemed American citizens after the filing of the declaration of intention to become such citizens, in a competent court. It is the duty of Consular Officers to satisfy themselves that seamen claiming relief under this statute have complied with its provisions; if not so satisfied, they will be authorized to treat them as foreigners in this respect.
Definition of 171. For the purposes of these regulations, the terms "American seamen" and "seamen or mariners of the United States" are synonymous, as are also the terms "American vessel" and "vessel of the United States." The principles which are maintained by this Government in regard to the protection, as distinguished from the relief, of seamen are well settled. It is held that the circumstance that the vessel is American is evidence that the seamen on board are such; and that in every regularly documented merchant-vessel the crew will find their protection in the flag that covers them.
Ms. Dept. of State. 10 C. Cls., 454.
Bond for return
R. S., 4576.
172. The shipment of a seaman in a port of the United States as an American citizen is to be held prima facie evidence that the seaman is, by birth or naturalization, a citizen; and when the nationality of the crew does not appear from the crew list, it will be presumed that they are citizens of the United States.
173. It is required by law of the master of every vessel bound on a foreign voyage, or engaged in the whale-fishery, to enter into a bond in the sum of four hundred dollars that he will exhibit the certified copy of the crew list to the first boarding-officer at the first port in the United States at which he shall arrive on his return, and also produce the persons named therein. But the bond shall not be forfeited on account of the master not producing any of the persons contained in the list who may be discharged in a foreign
country with the consent of a Consular Officer, certified in
Act June 26, 1881, sec. 20, 23
174. It is possible for a seaman who ships in a port of the Character of United States or in a foreign port, in the full character of may be lost. an American seaman, to divest himself subsequently of that character as respects the right to relief and transportation to the United States. (See paragraph 202.) A seaman who is entitled to relief is also entitled to transportation.
175. American seamen, as above defined, engaged on fishing-vessels are to be regarded in the same relation as seamen on other vessels to the laws in respect to discharge, wages, extra wages, relief, and transportation.
176. A master of an American vessel is a mariner, or seaman, within the intent of the laws relating to discharge, wages and extra wages, and relief and transportation. In case of destitution abroad he is entitled to the same relief as other seamen, and he may be sent to the United States at the public expense. There is no authority, however, for incurring greater expense for his maintenance, clothing, or transportation than is allowed for other seamen; and in no case may a Consular Officer advance money to a master, to be reimbursed by the Government.
On fishing-ves. sels.
MS. Dept. of State.
Master is also a
177. The following persons of a ship's company are to be deemed seamen or mariners, in addition to the officers and men, 5 the crew immediately concerned in the navigation of the vessel, viz: the surgeon, the purser, the cook, the steward or stewardess, the cabin-boy, an apprentice, the carpenter, the cooper on board whaling or other fishing-vessels, and the engineers, pilots, and firemen of steam-vessels.
Discharge of sea
DISCHARGE OF SEAMEN.
178. A master of a vessel of the United States, clearing R. S., sec. 4576. from one of its ports, assumes the responsibility of returning
all the ship's company to the United States, or of accounting for them in the manner required by law. (See paragraph 164.) He cannot lawfully discharge a seaman in a foreign port without the intervention of the Consular Officer; and 7Op. Atty. Gen., it is not material in such a case that the discharge is made with the seaman's consent, or that he has misconducted himself, or is not a citizen of the United States.
Cases in which seamen are discharged.
R. S., secs. 4561,
179. The usual cases in which American seamen are discharged in a foreign port by Consular Officers, under the 4580-4583, 4250, provisions of statute and the principles of maritime law, may be stated as follows:
1. For misconduct of the seaman.
2. On the sale of an American vessel abroad.
3. Upon the application of the master to a Consular Officer to discharge a seaman, or upon the application of a seaman for his own discharge, and 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 and usages of maritime law as recognized in the United States.
4. Upon the complaint of a seaman that the voyage is continued contrary to agreement, and the Consular Officer is satisfied that the voyage has been designedly and unnecessarily prolonged in violation of the articles of shipment. 5. When the desertion of a seaman has been caused by unusual or cruel treatment. (See paragraphs 191 and 192.) 6. After a report of inspectors that the vessel was sent to sea unsuitably provided in any important or essential particular, by neglect or design, and the Consular Officer approves such finding, and the crew, or any of them, request their discharge.
7. In consequence of the sickness of the seaman and inability to perform his duties, or in consequence of any hurt or injury received in the service of the vessel.
8. By mutual consent of master and seamar,
9. When the seaman is arrested and awaits trial for an
offense against local laws abroad, or is imprisoned for such an offense, or is held as a witness. When also he is sent to the United States as a prisoner or witness.
The Mary C. Couery, 9 Fed.
10. When one seaman is exchanged for another, or when he is transferred to another vessel in a foreign port, or when Rep., 222. he is promoted to be an officer of the vessel, or when an officer is disrated to the grade of seaman, and the rule applies equally to the disrating of any member of the crew.
11. Under contract providing for his discharge abroad. 12. When the vessel is wrecked or stranded, or condemned as unfit for service.
13. When the master is superseded by the majority-owners and a new master appointed; or where he is removed by the Consular Officer. This clause does not refer to the crew; who are not entitled to be discharged when the master is thus superseded or removed. (See paragraph 226.) 180. Where, upon the report of inspectors, in pursuance of section 4561 Revised Statutes, the defects or deficiencies found to exist have been the result of mistake or accident, and could not, in the exercise of ordinary care, have been known and provided against before the sailing of the vessel, and the master shall, in a reasonable time, remove or remedy the causes of complaint, the crew shall then remain and discharge their duty. (See paragraphs 188 and 209.)
181. When a seaman is discharged in a foreign port it is the duty of the Consular Officer to attach a certificate thereof to the crew list and shipping articles, and also to cause a certificate to be given to the seaman. (Forms Nos. 17 and 18.) The rules respecting the settlement of wages on the discharge of a seaman are to be found in section 4552 of the Revised Statutes.
Act June 26, 1884.
23 Stat., 54, ser.
Certificate of discharge.
R. S., secs. 4551,
182. Although not until recently provided for by statute, Discharge against it has been the practice for Consular Officers to discharge seamen, and also officers, on good cause shown, against their consent, on the application of the master; and the exercise of this authority has been sustained by the courts. It is, however, the general policy of the laws of the United States to discountenance the discharge of seamen in a foreign port. When the application for the discharge of a seaman is made by the master, it is the duty of the Consular Officer to in