paid in pursuance of agreement, lilid apparently the employers desired the services of those particular pilots for reasons satisfactory to themselves. It is the duty of the court, therefore, to allow the libelants this rate of wages, and the libelants are each entitled to receive the sum of $250, as claimed in tbeir libel, with costs to be paid by the respondent. SOplething was said about the eqnities of the case by the proctors for respondent, but equities cannot affect the positive provision of the statute, the benefits of which the libelants are entitled to claim. The intention, however, of the statute, seems to be to make it to the interest of the owner of the boat to make a written or printed agreement with the seamen, in order partly to avoid just such disputes as the present one. As is said by Judge TREAT in RoUirut v. Standard, 4 Fed. Rep. 750: "Mariners are wards of the court, and as such are to be protected, not to the injury of the respondents, but to secure them their jUllt wages. It is very easy fur officers of vessels to engage marinl'rs at a fixed rate, and if they do not do so the courts must allow them the rates existing at the time of departure. " Therefore, there do not· seem to be any equities in favor of the respond.. ent. A decree will be made accordingly.
J'OHNSON et ale
(DlBtrlct Court, D. Washington, W. D. February 15, 1899.)
SEAMEN'S WAGES-BRITISH VESSEL-JURISDIOTION.
A British vessel was libeled for seamen's wages at a port where tbere was no British consul. The nearest British consul had declined to interfere. Two of the libelants were American citizens. All but three of the crew were not lawfUlly bound by any contract of shipment. Bela, that the court was justified in aseuming jurisdiction of tbe case. Where seamen on a Britisb ship did not sign articles before the Brltlsb consul, but were taken aboard the vessel bv a boarding-bouse master, wbo wrote their names in the, shipping articles, after" which tbey served aboard the ship, but did not complete the voyage described in the articles, held, that tbe articles were not binding as to voyage or term or rate of wages; that the men could ltlave the vessel at any port witbout becoming desertere, and were entitled to recover on a quantum meruit for services performed. . Where it clearly appeared that sailors were inveigled 'aboard 0. ship, and comtheir will, hela, that the master coull! Ill>t fix the rate of pelle.d to serve their wages, but the court would .lix it anywhere within reaso"nable limits; and there being some evidence that f30 per month was the highest rate" at their port of sbipment at the time of shipment, and a,lso tbat their fare aboard ship was bad, held, that they sbould recover at tbe rate Of $30 per month;
SAME-SHIPPING ARTICLEs:..-I!JFORMALITY-RWHTS OJ!' SAILORS.
SAME-KIDNAPPED SAILORS-RATE OJ!' WAGES.
'-SAME-RtGIlTS OJ!' SEAMEN-INtlUFFIOIENT FOQD.
The evidence sbowingthat certain sailors, laWfully shipped, W!lre ill treated. aboard the vessel, and were depri,oed of proper. food and lime juice or other ant1SCOrbUtiCs,. held, tbat' it was a breach o.fthe ship's contraot, entitling the men to . leave the vessel, the negligencem,ig'ht not have been t.hat. of the muyr of the ship; but of t.he shIp-chandler who supplied her.
Jo:rdan. for libelants. /. W. H. Effinger, for respondent.
HANFORD, District Judge. I have very carefully read the testimony .and given consideration to the pleadings in this case, and am now ready to annou,nce my conclusions. I think the court is justified, and in fact required, to take jurisdiction of this case, although it is a suit for seamen's wages against a foreign vessel, for three reasons: (1) There is no British consul at the port of Tacoma, aod the consul at Port Townsend, where the nearest consul ra-, sides,after being called upon to investigate and adjust the matters of qifference between the master and crew, made no response to the request of the to ma,ke a demand 10rpayment of or security for his fees and expenses, with which demand they were not able to complYi but (2) even: ifthe consul had been willing, or had in fact assumed jurisdiction, the case is not one which could be taken out of the jurisdictibnof theiUnited. States.:court, properly. Two of the libelants are American citizens,and entitled to sue in the courts of their own country for the determination and adjudication of their rights. (3) All of the libelants but three have been brought to this country without having been lawfully bound by any contract of shipment. They are perfectly free to leave the vessel at this port, and demand payment of their wages. They have left the vessel, have demanded payment of their wages, and their demand has been refused. They have been turned out of the vessel destitute, and wages which they ,have earned by their services have been withheld from them. They are not bound to return to the home of this vessel to sue her, but are entitled in an admiralty court here to have their rights enforced. ,J fi.,nd .a wid,e divergence in the tElstimony in behalf of the libelants 8I11d in behalf of the ship, and have been obliged to weigh the testimony tp determine which side was giving the truth, and in so doing have given importance to the facts and circumstances which are clearly e8taban<l about which there can be no doubt. One important circumstaPQe.is ,that this captain left the port of Barry, on this present voyage, Having on board one seaman who had not signed the shipping articles voyage in the presence of a shipping commissioner or agent, as required by the laws of the country to which this vessel belongs. He gives as an excuse that it was because of the negligence and fault of the commissioner or shipping agent at the port of Barry in not attending to of having the men all sign the shipping articleEl. ·This statementis of itself unrf'asonable and improbable. It is met by the connthat the man bl3inga foreigner, and. uUll-ble to understand the English language, the shipping agent refused to sign him without the IlSsisbmce of an interpreter to explain the contract before he signed t4e statement which isprohable, and a full justification of the shipping commissioner's failure. ,The vessel proceeded to Riq de
Janeiro, and there the larger portion of the crew deserted the ship. The captain brought his vessel away from that port with a crew secured there, none of whom signed the shipping articles in the presence of the British consul. It is shown in testimony, and admitted by the captain, that the British consul refused to sanction the engagement of these men as seamen on this vessel. The captain has entered in his log, and has testified on this trial, and presumably has reported to his owners and the Britieh board of trade, that the reason for the refusal of the British consul to engage these men was that they were not in possession of discharges from the vessels in which they last previously served, and that it was simply an arbitrary and unreasonable piece of stubbornness on the part of the British consul to refuse to sanction the employment of these men. The shipping articles themselves contain an indorsement written by the British consul, signed officially and under his official seal, in which he makes a statement directly at variance with that of the captain. He states that the reason he refused to sanction the employment of these men was that it did not appear to him that the men were not deserters from other vessels then in port, and requiring their services to enable them to proceed on their voyages. I feel, bound to accept the certificate of the British consul as being the truth of the matter. It was in accordance with his duty and with law, and altogether more probable than that he unreasonably refused to act in a way that would enable this vessel to secure the services of necessary seamen, and proceed on her voyage. It appears that the captain employed a shipping or boarding-house master at Rio to secure a crew for him; and a part of these libelants were taken on board with their consent, and have served as mariners on this vessel. The signing of the articles on board the ship, out of the presence· of the British consul was a useless formality. The men were not given their option to sign or not. They were not asked to consent to the terms and conditions contained in the articles, but were taken down into the cabin of the vessel, and the shipping master, a resident of RiO,1\Tote their natnesand the other facts about them entered inthe shipping articles; and they were told the amount ofadvancEl that the captain allowed, all of which was paid to the ehi pping or boarding master, and then they 'Were ordered on deck and set to work. This manner of signing shipping articles is not in any sense the making of or entering into a binding contract. These men, by the writing of their names on the shipping articles by the boarding-house were not bound to perform the voyage, or remain in the service of the ship any particular time. They are not bound by the rate of wages. They have the right to leave the vessel in this port, and in leaving her do not become deserters, or forfeit their wages; and they are entitled to recover on a quantum meruit the reasonable value of their services from Rio de Janeiro to this port. . It is clearly established, however, that three of these men ta,ken on board the vessel at Rio were not taken on board for the purpose of making the voyage in the ship with their consent, but they were "shangbaied." Two of them were inveigled by the boarding-house master,
whom the captain of the ship employed to get a crew for him on the pretense of working as stevedores" while the vessel was in port at Rio, and under an agreement that they would be paid at the rate of 10 shillings per day for their time. When the vessel was thro\lgh with their services as stevedores, they requested permission to go onshore, and wete:refused by the captain·. ,They were unable to go On shore, because the vesael was not at any wharf,: but was at a distance from the shore, and there was no boat which they could obtain for the purpose. 'rhey were told that they would have to remain in the ship and go in the ship, to which they never consented. These are facts sworn to by. them, and not denied or attempted to be denied by the captain in his testimony; and the shipping articles show that somebody else signed for· them,-and that was done, as the testimony shows,after they were in fact on board the ship, and detained there against their will. The other man was taken on board· the ship by this boarding-house master simply to assist him in getting out to the vessel, to carry the other· men on board, and was left on board the vessel when the boarding-house master went ashore. He reported to the captain before the vessel got .out of the harbor, and while she was in tow of the steamtug,nnd jnJormed the master that he was not in condition to go to sea, that he. had no outfit for the voyage, and had even left his coat on shore. The master·could easily have sent him ashore on the tug without inconvenienceordanger; but he detained him, refused to let him go on shore, and the next day, after the vessel got out of the harbor, made a formality of shipping him, claiming that he WllS entitled to ship him as a "stowaway," at the wages of One shilling per month. Now. the plain truth about the matter is. this man was kidnapped, brought here against his will, and is entiUedto claim as wages from the ship, certainly, reasonable compe.nsati()n. I do not think it is for the master to fix his wages at one shilling per month, or any other sum. This man has a right to fix hia own and the court will allow it anywhere within reasonablelimita. Three of the libelants were lawfully employed, and signed shipping articles before the vessel started on her voyage. They claim the right to leave the vessel becaul$6 of a breach of their contract of shipment, in the manner in which they were treated on board, and because the deprivation of necesSllries during the voyage,-of proper iood, and lime juice or other antiscorbutics. The testimony, I think, shows that the provisions of the ship were scant. I do not think there was starvation, btl.t the. provisions were 01' the coarsest and cheapest quality, were scant in amount, and. poorly cooked. principal article of diet which tbeHctew had wa.acalled "skouse," a combination of sea biscuits with a 1i.ttlemeat mixedinj and cooked with the skimmings .fronl boiled salt meat·. meu,tsw¢re boiled in sea water,and the only seasonillg .which. theskousehad .was the skimmings from ·the boiled meat, boiled ,'in sea ·. SOme oUhecrew etated th",t they.,liked it, and gotalong.aI1 right;btltthose who were notable to.em:lurethat sort of die.t.had .to:pl:'1tupwith it, whether they liked it or not, anq. they suf-
fered; ,There were no ,dried apples or btherfruit furnished them. 8S a relish, and during all the voyage from Rio to Tacoma, they were wholly deprived of lime juice. The excuse is that it requires sugar to mix with the lime juice, and the ship had an insufficient supply of sugar to justify, the use of it in furnishing lime juice. It is claimed that there was a mist.ake on the part of the ship-chandler in. giving something else in the place of sugar; that it was because of his negligence in the matter. That does not relieve the vessel from responsibility. It makes' no dif.. ference·to the libelnnts whether the negligence was that of the' master or of some other agent of the owner. The men suffered in either case. It was a breach of the contract; and I hold that it justifies thelibelarits Newton, Golding, Swenzer, and Orr in leaving the vessel at Tacoma. In weighing the testimony, I have made due allowance for. the .. gerations in the testimony of the libelants, which are apparent, and have not assumed that all of the hardships and cruelties that they have ·referred to in their testimony are given with strict accuracYibut there is a decided preponderance of evidence that, in addition to dep" rivations, there was considerable abuse of the crew by harsh and abusive language, and by assaults at different times on different per.. sons. I have felt justified in entirely disregarding the testimony of thecaptain on all points in which he is. contradicted, by reason' of the manifest untruthfulness of his testimony in regard to the fililure ofthe shipping agent at Barry and the British consul at Rio to attend to the shipping of these men, and the signing of the articles. He has willfully testified falsely in this material matter, and I do not regard him as a reliable witness. The libelants Swenzer,Newton" Orr, .and Golding will be allowed to recover the balance of wages due'tbem as 'alleged in the libel. I think they are at least entitled to all that they claim, and will not allow them anything more. The court has to fix the wages to be allowed to the other libelants, because there is no binding contract here fixing their wages. I will allow Johnson the amount he has sued for. Thirty dollars per month is reasonable, and he is entitled to it. There is ctmsiderable discrepancy in the evidence as to the rate of .wages .ohtaining at the port of Rio, where these men were secured. On the part of the ship, it is claimed that the highest wages were $20 per oLtha libelants, it is claimed that it was $30. month. On the These men would be entitled to something in addition to mere wages, for the deprivation of proper food and antiscorbutics; ,abd.tfl,kibg that into account, I will allow them $30 a month, although I would not find as a fact that that was the rate of wages at Rio, or the amount I should have allowed them 'if they had been well l;\81'e9, Jor on the ship. The libelants· Johnson, COllnell. Searl, Wilson, Nordstrum, Paulson, Latchford, and' Powlewill therefore each be allowed wages at the rate of $30 per month. The other two, James and Greenj:.willbe allowed to amend the libel; and clliirrl' wagesfor,the time they served in the ship, doing stevedore work, and served ;ft!;ttu'lrinerll
on the voyage. at the rate of 10 shillings per day; and the court will nllowit. " In the argument the court listened to an appeal in behalf of this ship'to consid,erthe interests of the .port of Tacoma,-the commercial interests of ·this' port. The court regards as its imperative duty, above any mercenary interest that any parties to this suit or people outside of this litigation may have in the matter, the doing of justice, the upboldingof the maritime law of this country and of the WOrld; but, in addition to that, the commerce of the country cannot suft'erby protecting the rights of mariners. Reliable and efficient, seamen are just as necessary to commerce as ships are; and it is only necessary to sanction or pe1'mit the practiceofkidnappihg seamen to be carried on, to reduce the shipping interests in a' v.ery short time to a dependency upoDslave labor. I can imagine nothing that would be a more severe blow to the commercial world than to oppress and enslave the clasElof men who 'Iue willing to endure the hardships and 'encounter the dangers of a seafaring life; and I believe that the interests of the port of n'acoma,as well as justice itself, call upon this court, whenever a ship'$ .master stands 'convicted before it of the oft'enseof kidnapping seam.en, to deal with enough severity to at least check this great evil. In giving what I have to, these men, I have given them simple justice, 'and·think I have dealt mildly with the captain of this ship.
TuE QUAKER THE
EDICO'l'T ".THE JAM:ES T.EASTON, THE QUAKER CITY. AND TuE ADAMS. '
(D£Bt7ict Cown, Jj). D. New York.
February 25, 1892.)
Al;l1()rtgagee of a vessel, who has take1j. the mortgage for an antecedent indebtedness only, and without inquiry as to existing liens, is not in the situation of a ,bonafide purcQ,aser, and has no equity superior to a material-man who has a lien for necessary eupplies furnished. on the credit of the vessel.
SAM.Il-DISOHARG.Il BY TBIRD PERSON'S NOTE.
The Dote of a third person,when taken for an antecedent debt of a vessel, is no discharge of the maritime lien of. the person reoeiVing it.
In Admiralty. Suit to; recover for supplies furnished; mortgagees qeo fending as prior lienors. Decree for libelant.