Advance and allotment of an agreement with a crew is required to be made in a form approved by the Board of Trade, the agree ment may contain a stipulation for payment to or on behalf of the seaman, conditionally on his going to sea in pursuance of the agreement, of a sum not exceeding the amount of one month's wages; and stipulations for the allot ment of a seaman's wages may be made in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act. A stipulation for an allotment note is bound to be offered to the seaman. Save as just stated an agreement by or on behalf of the employer of a seaman for the payment of money to or on behalf of the seaman conditionally on his going to sea from any port in the United Kingdom is void ; and any money paid in satisfaction or in respect of any such agreement cannot be deducted from the seaman's wages ; and no person has any right of action against the seaman in respect of any money so paid. Any stipulation made by a seaman at the commencement of a voyage for the allotment of any part of his wages during his absence must be inserted in the agreement with the crew, and must state the amounts and times of the payments to be made. When the agreement is 'required to be made in a form approved by the Board of Trade, the seaman may require that a stipulation be inserted in the agreement for the allotment by means of an " allotment note" of any part (not exceeding one-half) of his wages in favour either of a near relative or of a savings bank. Allotment notes must be in a form approved by the Board ,,'of Trade. 'The expression "near relative" means the wife, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, child, grandchild, brother or sister of the seaman ; and the expression " savings bank " means a seamen's savings bank, or a trustee savings bank, or a post-office savings bank. An allotment in favour of a savings bank must be made according to the regulations of the Board of Trade. The sum received by such bank in pursuance of an allot ment can only be paid out on an application made through a superintendent or the Board of Trade by the seaman himself, or in the case of his death by some person to whom his property, if under .2100 in value, may be paid under the Merchant Shipping Act. The person in whose favour an allotment note is made may, unless the seaman is shown to have forfeited or ceased to be entitled to the wages out of which the allotment is to be paid, recover the sums allotted when and as the same are made payable, with costs from the owner of the ship or from any agent of his who has authorised the allotment, in the manner in which seamen's wages, not exceeding X50, can be recovered. But the wife of a seaman, if she deserts her children or so misconducts herself as to be undeserving of the support of her husband, forfeits all right to further payments under an allotment made in her favour. In any proceeding for such recovery, the claimant has only to prove that he is the person men tioned in the note, and that the note was given by an authorised person ; and the seaman is presumed to be duly earning his wages, unless the contrary is shown, either (a) by the official statement of the change in the crew caused by his absence, made and signed by the master ; or (b) by a certified copy of some entry in the official log-book to the effect that he has left the ship ; or (c) by a credible letter from the master of the ship to the same effect ; or (d) by such other evidence as the Court in their absolute discretion consider sufficient to show that the seaman has ceased to be entitled to the wages out of which the allotment is to be paid. A payment under an allotment note must begin at the expiration of one month from the date of the agreement with the crew, and must be paid at the expiration of every subsequent month after the first month, but only in respect of wages earned before the date of payment. The master is bound to give a seaman facilities for remitting wages.
Seamen's money orders and savings Merchant Shipping Act also provides in this connection for the following matters :—(1) The remittance of seamen's wages by seamen's money orders, with power to pay the same when the order is lost ; (2) Penalties for issuing money orders with fraudulent intent ; (3) Power for the Board of Trade to establish a central seamen's savings bank in London and branch seamen's savings banks at other ports ; (4) l'ower for the National Debt Commissioners to receive deposits of the moneys deposited in such savings banks ; (5) The application of deposits of a deceased depositor; (6) The payment by the Board of Trade of the expenses of seamen's savings banks out of the interest received by them from the National Debt Commissioners ; (7) The laying of accounts and copies of the regulations before Parliament; (8) The exemption of public officers from legal proceedings except in case of wilful default ; and (9) Penalties to be imposed in the case of forgery of documents and other acts for the purpose of obtaining money in Seamen's savings banks.
Rights of seamen in respect of wages seaman's right to wages and provisions begins either at the time at which he commences work or at the time specified in the agreement for his commencement or presence on board, whichever first happens. He cannot by any agreement forfeit his lien on the ship ; nor be deprived of any remedy for the recovery of his wages to which in the absence of the agreement he would be entitled; nor abandon his right to wages in case of the loss of the ship ; nor abandon any right that he may have or obtain in the nature of salvage. Every stipulation or agreement, so far as it purports to so affect a seaman and his rights is void. This rule does not apply, however, to a stipulation made by the seamen belonging to any ship, which according to the terms of the agreement is employed on salvage services, with respect to the remuneration to be paid to them for salvage services to be rendered by that ship to another ship. The right to wages does not depend on the earning of freight. Every seaman or apprentice who would be entitled to demand any vvages, if the ship in which he has served has earned freight, is, subject to all other rules of law and conditions applicable to the case, entitled to demand and recover the same, notwithstanding that freight has not been earned. But in all cases of wreck or loss of the ship, proof that the seaman has not exerted himself to the utmost to save the ship, cargo, and stores, will bar his claim to wages. Where a seaman or apprentice would but for death be entitled by law to receive any wages, dies before they are paid, they are paid and applied in the same manner as wages of a seaman who dies during the voyage. Where the service of a seaman terminates before the date contemplated in the agreement by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship, or of his being left on shore at any place abroad under a certificate of unfitness or inability to proceed on the voyage, he is entitled to wages up to the time of the termination only. A seaman or apprentice is not entitled to wages for any time during which he unlawfully refuses or neglects to work when required, whether before or after the time fixed by the agreement for his commence ment of such work, nor, unless the Court °then% ise directs, for any period during which he is lawfully imprisoned. Where by reason of illness he is incapable of performing his duty, and it is proved that the illness has been caused by his own wilful act or default, he is not entitled to wages for the time during which he is by the illness incapable of performing his duty. Whenever in any proceeding relating to seamen's wages it is shown that a sea man or apprentice has in the course of the voyage been convicted of an offence by a competent tribunal, and rightfully punished for that offence by imprisonment or otherwise, the Court may direct any part of the wages due to the seaman, not exceeding three pounds, to be applied in reimbursing any costs properly incurred by the master in procuring the conviction and punishment. If a seaman having signed an agreement is discharged otherwise than in accord ance with the terms thereof before the commencement of the voyage, or before one month's wages are earned, without fault on his part justifying the discharge, and without his consent, he is entitled to receive, in addition to any wages he may have earned, due compensation for the damage caused to him by the discharge not exceeding one month's wages, and may recover it as if it were wages duly earned. As respects wages due or accruing to a seaman or apprentice to the sea service—(a) They are not subject to attach ment or arrestment from any court ; (b) an assignment or sale thereof made prior to the accruing thereof does not bind the person making the same ; (r) a power of attorney or authority for the receipt thereof is not irrevocable ; and (d) a payment of wages to the seaman or apprentice is valid in law, not withstanding any previous sale or assignment of those wages, or any attach ment, incumbrance, or arrestment thereof. This does not affect the provisions before mentioned with respect to allotment notes.