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of the consul for relief of seamen, in which the amount so paid for the passages of the seamen should be debited to the l'nited States.
286. Discretion in sending to intermediate ports.—In the exercise of this discretion in respect to sending destitute seamen to intermediate ports, the consul will take into consideration the relative cost of keeping the seamen where they are and at the port to which they can be sent, together with the expense of their passage thither and the probability of their obtaining employment there or a passage home; and he will adopt the course which may seem best, having a due regard for the interests of the United States and a proper concern for the seamen. In the event that the consul to whom seamen are thus sent should not have sufficient funds to pay the passage money, he should negotiate a draft for the proper amount, drawn upon the Secretary of the Treasury, and pay the amount from the proceeds. It is not desirable, and it will often be inconvenient, for the master to negotiate such a draft, and, unless otherwise requested, the consul should himself negotiate it. Information of the drawing of such drafts, together with a report of the number of seamen, the cost of passage, and the consul by whom they were sent, must be at once communicated to the Auditor for the State and other Departments. In the absence of information in these respects payment of the drafts may be withheld.
287. Transportation on passenger steamers.—When seamen are sent by consular officers to intermediate ports on regular passenger steamers, and payment of passage is required in advance, the consular officer by whom they are sent should transmit to the consul at the port of destination, either by the same vessel or the quickest route, a list of the seamen forwarded, with the name of the vessel, requesting him to certify the arrival of the seainen on the list and to transmit it at once to the Auditor for the State and other Departments. It will be the duty of the latter to comply with such requests without delay. In case a draft should be necessary to meet the expense of the passages so paid in advance, it should be drawn upon the Secretary of the Treasury, and negotiated and reported as provided for in the preceding paragraph.
288. Clothing to be reported to consul at destination. When destitute seamen are forwarded to intermediate ports, as provided for in the preceding paragraphs, and supplies of clothing are furnished them by the consul by whom they are forwarded, a list of the clothing should be transmitted to the consul at the port of destination in the manner prescribed in paragraph 273.
289. Allowance when seamen are picked up. When American seamen are picked up at sea and transported to some port of the United States, a reasonable compensation for such seryice is allowed, usually not exceeding 50 cents per day for each seaman, upon presentation at the Treasury Department of an account or claim in proper form, accompanied by satisfactory evidence as to the service rendered, the time the seamen were on board the rescuing vessel, and of their arrival in the United States.
290. Transportation of shipwrecked seamen.—When American seamen, whether transported from a port or place where there is no consular officer or picked up at sea, are landed at a consulate of the United States, the consular officer is authorized to pay the master of the vessel in which they are transported a reasonable compensation for the service, not exceeding 50 cents per day for each seaman, and to include the same in his account for relief of seamen, forwarding a proper voucher therewith and furnishing satisfactory explanations as to the case. The names of the seamen and the names of the vessels to which they last belonged must be given, and also the number of days occupied in their transportation. (Form No. 84.)
291. Passage money to be paid from arrears of wages, etc.— The amount to be paid at the Treasury Department for the passage of a seaman to the United States on a consular certificate is to be estimated with the expenses of the seaman and deducted from his arrears of wages or the extra wages in the same manner as the expenses for relief that are paid directly by the consular officer. When, also, a seaman is sent to an intermediate port, if any part of the arrears of wages or the extra wages is available for the purpose, the amount paid in advance for his passage, or requested to be paid, by the consular officer at the port of destination should be deducted in like manner.
292. Accounts and drafts.-All accounts relating to the relief and transportation of destitute seamen must be in the name of the principal consular officer, and drafts on the Secretary of the Treasury must be made by those officers only. No account or draft of a vice-consul or vice-commercial agent or consular agent will receive attention, unless in the absence of the principal consular officer from his post, in which case a certificate of that fact must accompany the account or draft. (Paragraphs 557, 558.)
DESERTION OF SEAMEN.
293. Desertion, how punished. It is provided by statute that desertion shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months, and by the forfeiture of all or any part of the clothes or effects the deserter leaves on board, and of all or any part of the wages or emoluments which he has then earned; and that when a seaman or apprentice neglects or refuses to join the ship, or deserts from or refuses to go to sea in any vessel in which he is duly engaged to serve, or is found otherwise absenting himself therefrom without leave at any place out of the United States, he may be apprehended and detained or conveyed on board. It is also made the duty of consular officers to reclaim deserters and to employ the local authorities for the purpose whenever that can be done.R. S., secs. 4596, 4599, 4600. (Paragraph 299.)
294. Desertion defined.—Desertion is defined to be the quitting of the ship and her service by one of the ship's company without leave and against the obligation of the party and with an intent not again to return to the ship's duty. Neglect or refusal to rejoin the ship after an absence with leave when ordered to return is desertion; but it is not desertion when a mariner, through excess of indulgence, overstays his time of leave, and when he has not refused or neglected to comply with an order to return; nor when the seaman leaves the ship on account of cruel or oppressive treatment, or for want of sufficient provisions in port when they can be procured by the master, or when the voyage is altered in the articles without consent.—18 Fed. Rep., 605; 39 Id., 624. Where a seaman signs articles for a voyage, agreeing to go to the port where the vessel is lying to join her, and fails to do so, he is a deserter.–53 Fed. Rep., 551.
295. Casual overstay not desertion.—A casual overstay of leave is not desertion; nor is the going ashore without leave, but with the intent to return, The consular officer will be careful to inquire on these points, as sailors on shore often overstay their leaves of absence. He will also take care to assure himself that a reported desertion has not been fraudulently favored or permitted by the master for the purpose of avoiding the payment of extra wages upon a regular discharge of the seaman.—2 Ben., 189.
296. Forfeiture of clothes, wages, etc.—The clothes, effects, and wages which are forfeited for desertion are to be applied in payment of the expenses occasioned by the desertion to the master or owner of the vessel from which the desertion took place, and the balance, if any, is to be paid by the master or ner to any shipping commissioner resident at the port at shieh the voyage of the vessel terminates. In all cases of forfeiture of wages, the forfeiture shall be for the benefit of the master or owner by whom the wages are payable.—R. S., kr. 4604. Under the provisions of this statute it has been decided that a consular officer has no authority to demand and receive from the master the money and effects belonging to a deserter from the vessel. -14 Op. Att. Gen., 520.
297. Upon sale of vessel abroad.—If a vessel is sold in a foreign port and the master then has a balance of wages of a deserter in his hands which would be delivered to the shipping commissioner if the voyage were to terminate in a port of the United States, the consul may properly demand such balance; and he is instructed to make the necessary inquiries of the master in this respect. If the master refuses to comply with the demand, the consul will report the facts, together with the amount of the balance and the name of the deserter, to the Department of State. If the master complies with the demand, it will be the duty of the consul to give a receipt for any money delivered to him, and to transmit the amount, through the Department of State, to the shipping commissioner at the port to which the vessel belonged, or, if there is no shipping commissioner, then to the district judge for the district in which the port is situated. (Appendix. V.)
298. Consul to protect fund arising from forfeitures. The balance of the proceeds of the forfeited clothes, effects, and wages of deserters, to be paid to the shipping commissioner, ultimately goes into a fund for the relief of sick and disabled and destitute seamen. It is the duty of a consular officer, so far as possible, to protect this fund. To that end, therefore, he will require the master, when a desertion list is to be settled and certified, to exhibit his slop-book and an account of all items charged against the seaman, and the amount, if any, due to him from the ship at the date of desertion. He will