§ (1) A pilotage authority may grant a certificate (in this Act referred to as a pilotage certificate) to any person who is bond fide the master or mate of any ship if that person applies for such a certificate, and if, after an examination conducted substantially in the same manner as the examination of persons applying to be licensed as pilots for their district, they are satisfied that, having regard to his skill, experience, and local knowledge, he is capable of piloting the ship of which he is master or mate within their district:—2373
§ Provided that—
- (a) A pilotage certificate shall not be granted to the master or mate of a ship unless he is a British subject, except in the cases for which special provision is made by this Act; and
- (b) In any district where a bye-law is in force prohibiting the grant of pilotage certificates to masters or mates who do not hold at least a mate's certificate of competency recognised under Part II. of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the pilotage authority shall not grant a certificate except to a master or mate holding such a certificate of competency.
§ (2) A pilotage certificate shall be in a form approved for the time being by the Board of Trade, and shall contain (in addition to any other particulars which may be prescribed) the name of the person to whom the certificate is granted, the name and draught of water of the ship or ships in respect of which it is granted, the limits of the district in respect of which the certificate is granted, and the date on which it was granted.
§ (3) A pilotage certificate shall not be in force for more than a year from the date on which it is granted, but may be renewed annually by the pilotage authority, subject to the provisions of any bye-law made by that authority as to re-examination.
§ (4) A pilotage certificate may be granted so as to extend to more than one ship belonging to the same owner, while the master or mate is acting as master or mate of any such ship, provided that they are ships of substantially the same class.
§ (5) A pilotage authority may, on the application of the master or mate of a ship, alter his pilotage certificate so as to relate to any other ship or ships of a not substantially greater draught of water or tonnage than to which the certificate formerly related, to which the master or mate may be transferred, or so as to cover any ships of substantially the same class and belonging to the same owner as the ships to which the certificate already relates.
§ (6) For the purpose of this section ships under a time charter shall be deemed to be owned by the persons by whom they are chartered.
§ Mr. WALTER REA
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "may" ["authority may grant a certifi- 2374 cate"], and insert instead thereof the word "shall."
The effect of this Amendment is to put the Bill back in the form in which it went into Committee before meeting with the persuasive eloquence of my hon. Friend opposite, who managed to induce the Committee to make this permissive instead of mandatory, and so upset the whole of the previous custom. Hitherto it has always been the custom for pilotage authorities, without, I understand, having any option in the case, to license masters and mates on coasting steamers, and this is a most important concession to smaller vessels running in keen competition with railway companies, not only in the matter of expense but also of efficiency, because these vessels are running as a rule from one definite place to another. The masters and mates, therefore, are often more competent than the pilot to do the particular job required, and it would be a most serious interference with the trade of the country if this facility were put a stop to. I do not think it was the intention of the Committee—indeed I am advised by some of my hon. Friends that "may" does mean "shall." If that is so, of course I am satisfied, but I am sorry there is not a Law Officer present. If I can be satisfied there is no intention of withdrawing this pilotage licence for masters and mates I will accept it as it stands, but I do think the shipping community are entitled to be satisfied on that point.
My hon. Friend will see by the rest of the Clause that it will be obligatory on a pilotage authority to grant a certificate after satisfactory examination.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. WALTER REA
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "an examination conducted substantially in the same manner as the examination of persons applying to be licensed as pilots for their district," and insert instead thereof the word "examination."
It is quite obvious that an examination substantially the same is totally unnecessary for a master who already holds a Board of Trade certificate and has proved his capacity in seamanship.
Sir G. PARKER
I would recall to those Members who were on the Committee upstairs that we discussed this question, and understood that the words 2375 "substantially in the same manner" had not reference to the subject matter but rather that there should be the same quality and nature of examination apart from the questions asked. Therefore I would suggest to the hon. Member that he would do well to leave the matter as it is, because it only has reference to providing an examination of such nature and quality as shall secure to masters and mates sufficient qualifications.
§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
It is very interesting to hear that the Committee came to the conclusion that that was the meaning of the words. All I can say is that as a lawyer I should not have come to that conclusion, and I am afraid the Courts would not. I would suggest to the House that probably it is enough simply to leave those words in accordance with the proposed Amendment, relying on the words that have been put in by the House in Clause 16, Sub-section (1), paragraph (k), which provides for the making of bye-laws as to the method of conducting examinations of masters and mates applying for pilotage certificates so as to maintain a proper standard of efficiency. Sub-section (2) of Clause 16 says that a bye-law shall not take effect unless it has been submitted to the Board of Trade and confirmed by them with or without modifications. It would therefore come under the Rules Publication Act, of 1893, and all persons who were aggrieved at the form in which the bye-law was proposed could be heard on it, and, if necessary, modifications could be permitted. So I think, for practical purposes, it always would be possible to modify a bye-law if necessary, for the purpose of changing the customs and conditions, and everybody, it seems to me, would be satisfied under that arrangement.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
I beg to move in Sub-section (1), after the word "his" ["they are satisfied that having regard to his"], to insert the word "character." That is necessary for carrying out this arrangement. This word is required in regard to the examinations for masters and mates in Clause 16, and it is only right it should be put in here, because the point is not covered by the Clause as drawn.
§ Mr. HOLT
I beg to second the Amendment. In my experience, as a member of the pilotage authority of the Port of Liverpool, we have had persons who have come 2376 up who have been quite capable of passing examinations, but whose past would lead everyone to know that they ought not to be in charge of a ship.
Sir G. PARKER
I would point out that I made the same proposal in Committee upstairs, and it was rejected by the President of the Board of Trade, and by the sense of the Committee. I should like to hear what reasons the President of the Board of Trade had for declining to accept it.
In justice to my hon. Friend, I ought to say that the reason why I suggested to the Committee that they should not accept this was that the word appeared rather unnecessary—we were only dealing with masters and mates. I do not think there is very much in it, but I think perhaps it is better left as it stands. The Merchant Shipping Act, I think, covers this point.
§ Mr. PETO
I should like to say a word after what the President of the Board of Trade has said. In dealing with these men who hold masters' and mates' certificates, it surely is unnecessary to insert here, on the Report stage, a provision that it must be people of good character, or of sufficiently good character, who can hold a pilotage certificate. I claim that the words are entirely unnecessary, and are derogatory to the character of masters and mates in the mercantile marine. I should like to oppose the proposal that the word be inserted.
§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
Will the House allow me to withdraw the Amendment, on the assurance of the President of the Board of Trade that it is effectively covered, although I cannot remember the words of the Merchant Shipping Act.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendment made: In Sub-section (4), after the word "is" ["while the master or mate is acting"], insert the words "boná fide."—[Mr. Buxton.]
I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (6) and to insert instead thereof the words "A pilotage authority may, for the purposes of this section, treat ships which are shown to their satisfaction to be boná fide under the management of the same person as manager, managing owner, demisee, or time charter, as being ships owned by that person."
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I wish to ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the meaning of the word "demisee" which appears in this Amendment? I have been in the law forty years, and I have seen a good many astounding and technical and other expressions, but I have never before come across the word "demisee."
I have never met the word before. I understand, however, that it is a time-honoured phrase, and I hope the hon. Member will not object to it.
What we want here is to find the bonâ fide owner, and there are cases in which, instead o£ a man having one fleet or one ship, he has two or three ships or fleets in different companies virtually under his own control, and practically, therefore, he is the owner. The Sub-section is put in this way so that the pilotage authority shall be the officials who have to decide who is the owner, and the person in question has to show that he is bonâ fide the owner in this matter, so that the onus of proof lies on him to show that he is entitled to the certificate.