§ 15. Mr. BENJAMIN SMITH
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the master of the steamship "Baron Graham" landed two seamen, Thomas Morris and Robert Jones, at Havana, handing them over to the police there; that they were charged with mutiny and sentenced to 31 days' imprisonment and £12 was deducted from 1292 their wages for costs of pilotage; that the master failed to consult the British Consul; that no entry was made in the log book; and that thereby sections of the Merchant Shipping Act referring to discipline and deductions from wages were broken; and will he take steps to see that the record is expunged and the money refunded to the men and take action against the master of the ship?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
An entry regarding the conduct of these seamen was made in the log book. They were charged with a grave breach of the peace and a minimum sentence of 31 days' imprisonment was imposed by the local court. The master's explanation of the circumstances in which he left these seamen behind in Havana without obtaining the certificate of a proper authority as required by Section 36 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1906, has been obtained and I am advised that the case is not one for proceedings against the master. I have no power to intervene on the question of the deduction of pilotage costs from wages.
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
No, Sir, my information is that the certificate could not have been obtained without unreasonable delay.