§ Mr. MUNRO-FERGUSON
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the claim of the owners of the s.s. "Cairngorm" for repayment of the sum of £6 6s. 4d., being balance of wages due to the steward, 664W William Post, who deserted from the ship at Buenos Ayres in February last; whether he is aware that Post, unknown to his employers, endeavoured to smuggle into the Argentine certain dutiable goods, and that they had to pay a Customs fine of 750 dollars in respect of this offence; and whether, in view of the fact that it is not possible to ascertain Post's address, and of the willingness of the owners to give an undertaking to repay the amount in the event of its being claimed by him, he will give instructions for its refund to them in accordance with the recommendation of the Board of Trade?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 does not authorise the retention of a seaman's wages by his employer in a case such as this except on the order of a Court, and consequently the Treasury have no legal power to authorise the payment of Post's wages to the owners of the "Cairngorm."