§ 95. Mr. Callaghan
asked the Minister of Transport what steps have been taken to recover the wages owing to Joseph Cordina and John Vella, seamen of Cardiff, who were paid off a Norwegian ship at San Francisco in October and whose wages were paid by the captain to the Norwegian Consul and retained by him, it now being three months since his department were made aware of the facts on file No. M6393/51.
§ Mr. Maclay
These seamen were, as the hon. Member states, serving in a Norwegian ship. They were, therefore, subject to the Norwegian maritime laws.
I have made inquiries of the Norwegian authorities and am informed that instructions were recently sent to the Norwegian Consulate General at San Francisco that the balance of wages of these two seamen who were discharged for misconduct, should be paid over to H.M. Consul General. In the case of John Vella, who was found guilty in a San Francisco court of assault upon the chief engineer, a deduction amounting to approximately £17 is being made by the Norwegian authorities to cover the cost of dental treatment undergone by the chief engineer in consequence of the assault.
In the meantime, the cost of maintaining and repatriating the seamen has been borne by my Department. This in both cases exceeded the amounts of the wages which I understand are being paid over to the Consul General, and there will thus be no balance payable to the seamen.