Apprenticeship to the sea desiring to apprentice boys to, or requiring apprentices for, the sea service, are given assistance by super intendents upon payment of certain fees. Apprenticeships to the sea service made by a board of guardians, or by persons having the power of a board of guardians are, if made in Great Britain, made in the same manner and are subject to the same laws and regulations as other apprenticeships made by such boards or persons ; but the following, if made in Ireland, are subject to regula tions :—(a) The board of guardians or other persons in any poor law union may put out and bind as apprentice to the sea service any boy who, or whose parent, is receiving relief in the union, and who has attained the age of twelve years, and is healthy and strong, and consents to be bound ; (b) if the cost of relieving the boy is chargeable to an electoral division of a poor law union, then (except where paid officers act in place of guardians) he must not be so bound without the consent in writing of the guardians of that division, or a majority of them if more than one, and that consent must, if possible, be indorsed on the indenture ; (c) the expenses incurred in the binding and outfit of any such apprentice are charged to the poor law union or electoral division, as the case may be, to which the boy or his parent is chargeable at the time ; (d) all indentures made in a poor law union may be sued on by the board of guardians or persons having the authority of such board, by their name of office ; and actions so brought do not abate on any death or change in the persons holding office ; (e) the amount of the costs incurred in such action, and not recovered from the defendant, may be charged as the expenses incurred in binding out the apprentice. Every indenture of appren ticeship to the sea service must be executed by the boy and the person to whom he is bound in the presence of and attested by two justices of the peace, who must ascertain that the boy has consented to be bound and has attained twelve years of age, that he is of sufficient health and strength, and that the person to whom he is bound is a proper person for the purpose. And every such indenture must be executed in duplicate, and is exempt from stamp duty. Every indenture made in the United Kingdom, and every assignment and cancellation thereof, and where the apprentice bound dies or deserts, the fact of the assignment, cancellation, death or desertion must be recorded. For the purpose of the record (a) a person to whom an apprentice to the sea service is bound must. within seven days of the execution of the indenture, transmit to the registrar-general of shipping and seamen, or to a superintendent, the in denture executed in duplicate, and the registrar-general or superintendent will keep and record the one indenture and indorse on the other the fact that it has been recorded, and redeliver it to the master of the apprentice ; (b) the master must notify any assignment or cancellation of the indenture, or the death or desertion of the apprentice, to the said registrar-general or super intendent within seven days of the occurrence if it occurs within the United Kingdom, or as soon as circumstances permit if it occurs elsewhere. Any person failing to comply with these regulations is liable to a fine of l'10. It is necessary, under a penalty of 1"5, for the master of a foreign-going ship to cause the apprentice to appear before the superintendent and prodace to him the indenture before proceeding to sea from a port in the United Kingdom.
Licences to supply Board of Trade grant licences to persons they think fit, permitting them to engage or supply seamen or apprentices for merchant ships. Any such licence continues for such period, and may be granted and revoked on such terms as the Board think proper. No one can lawfully engage or supply a seaman or apprentice to be entered on board a ship in the United Kingdom unless he either holds a licence from the Board of Trade for the purpose or is the owner or master or mate of the ship, or is bond fide the servant and in the constant employment of the owner, or is a superintendent. No one can employ any person for the pur pose of engaging or supplying a seaman or apprentice to be entered on board any ship in the United. Kingdom, unless that person either holds a licence from the Board of Trade for the purpose, or is the owner or master or mate of the ship, or is bond fide the servant and in the constant employment of the owner, or is a superintendent. No one can lawfully receive or accept to be entered on board ship any seaman or apprentice, if he knows that the seaman or apprentice has been engaged or supplied in contravention of the above provisions ; and any person acting in contravention is liable for each seaman or apprentice in respect of whom an offence is committed to a fine of .P20, and, if a licensed person, to forfeiture of his licence. No one can lawfully demand or receive payment directly or indirectly from a seaman or appren tice or any person seeking employment as such of any remuneration therefor other than the authorised fees, under a penalty of Engagement of master of a ship (except ships of less than eighty tons registered tonnage exclusively employed in trading between different ports on the coasts of the United Kingdom) must enter into an agreement with every seaman whom he carries to sea as one of his crew from any port in the United Kingdom. The penalty for omitting to do so, incurred by the master in the case of a foreign-going ship, and the master or owner in the case of a home-trade ship, is £5 for each offence. The agreement must be in the authorised form, dated at the time of the first signature, and signed by the master before a seaman signs it. The agreement must contain the following particulars Either the nature and, as far as practicable, the duration of the intended voyage or engagement, or the maximum period of the same, and the places, if ally, to which the voyage is not to extend ; (b) the number and description of the crew, specifying how many are engaged as sailors; (c) the time at which each seaman is to be on board ; (d) the capacity in which he is to work ; (e) the amount of his wages ; (f) a scale of the provisions to be furnished to him ; (g) any regulations as to conduct on board, and as to fines and punishments for misconduct, which have been approved by the Board of Trade and which the parties agree to adopt.
The agreement must be so framed as to admit of such stipulations as are not contrary to law. But if the master of a ship registered at a port out of the United Kingdom has an agreement with the crew made in due form accord ing to the law of that port or the port at which the crew were engaged, and engages single seamen in the United Kingdom, those seamen may sign the agreement so made, and it is not then necessary to sign an agreement in the approved form. The following provisions have effect with respect to agree ments with the crew made in the United Kingdom in the case of foreign going ships registered either within or without the United Kingdom :—(1) The agreement must be signed by each seaman in the presence of a super intendent ; (2) The superintendent must cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each seaman and must attest each signature ; (3) When the crew is first engaged the agreement must be signed in duplicate, and one part must be retained by the superintendent and the other delivered to the master, and must contain a space for substitutes or persons engaged sub sequently ; (4) Where a substitute is engaged in the place of a seaman who signed the agreement and whose services are within twenty-four hours of the ship's putting to sea lost by death, desertion, or other unforeseen cause, the engagement must, when practicable, be made before a superintendent, and, when not practicable, the master must before the ship puts to sea, if practicable, and if not, as soon afterwards as possible, cause the agreement to be read over and explained to the substitute, who then signs the same in the presence of an attesting witness ; (5) The agreements may be made for a voyage, or if the voyages of the ship average less than six months may be made to extend over two or more voyages, and the latter class of agreements are called "running agreements " ; (6) Running agreements must not extend beyond the next following 30th June or 31st December, or the first arrival of the ship at her port of destination in the United Kingdom, and after that date, or the discharge of the cargo consequent on that arrival ; (7) On every return to a port in the United Kingdom before the final termination of a running agreement, the master must make on the agreement an indorsement as to the engagement or discharge of seamen, either that no engagements or discharges have been made, or are intended to be made before the ship leaves port, or that all those made have been made lawfully, under a penalty for each offence of X20 ; (8) The master must deliver the agreement so indorsed to the superintendent, who, if the law has been complied with, will sign the indorsement and return the agreement to the master ; (9) The duplicate running agreement retained by the superintendent may either be transmitted to the registrar-general or retained by the superintendent until the expira tion of the agreement, as the Board of Trade direct. The following provisions have effect with respect to the agreements with the crew of home trade ships for which an agreement is required—(1) Agreements may be made either for service in a particular ship or for service in two or more ships belonging to the same owner, but in the latter case the names of the ships and the nature of the service must be specified ; (2) Crews or single seamen may be engaged before a superintendent in the same manner as in the case of foreign-going ships, but if the engagement is not so made the master must, before the ship puts to sea, if practicable, and if not, as soon after as possible, cause the agreement to be read and explained to each seaman, who signs the same before an attesting witness ; (3) An agreement for service in two or more ships belonging to the same owner may be made by the owner instead of the master ; (4) Agreements do not, in ships of more than eighty tons burden, extend beyond the next 30th June or 31st December or the first arrival of the ship at her final port of destination in the United Kingdom after that date or the discharge of cargo consequent on that arrival ; but the owner or his agent may enter into " time agreements ", in forms authorised, with individual seamen to serve in one or more ships belonging to such owner, and those agreements need not expire on the dates named above, and a duplicate of every such agreement must be forwarded to the registrar-general within forty-eight hours after it has been entered into. The Merchant Shipping Act also provides for cases in which there are changes in the crew of foreign-going ships, for granting certificates as to agreements with the crews of foreign-going ships and home-trade ships. The master must at the commencement of every voyage or engagement cause a legible copy of the agreement (omitting the signatures) with the crew to be posted up in some part of the ship accessible to the crew, under a penalty in default of so doing of oe5 for each offence. To fraudulently alter, or to make a false entry in or deliver a false copy of an agreement with a crew, or to assist in or procure any such an offence to be committed, is a misdemeanour. Every erasure, interlineation, or alteration in an agreement with a crew (except additions in the case of substitutes or persons engaged after the first departure of the ship) are inoperative, unless proved to have been made with the consent of all the persons interested in the same by the written attestation (if in his Majesty's dominions) of some superintendent, justice, officer of customs, or other public functionary, or elsewhere of a British consular officer, or where there is no such officer, of two respectable British merchants. The Act of 1906 contains a prohibition against the engage ment of seamen with an insufficient knowledge of English. Agreement with Lasccurs.—An agreement with a Lascar, or any native of India, binding him to proceed to a port in the United Kingdom or Australia, either as a seaman or passenger, and there to enter in a further agreement in authorised form to serve as a seaman is lawful.