- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
240

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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240 DISPUTES BETWEEN CAPTAINS, &c. P. vi., Сн. ix.

§ 286. [-Netherlands, Belgium,-]
{+Nether-
lands, Bel-
gium,+} Great
Britain,

§ 267.
Peru,
Denmark,
Japan.

§ 268.
Case of
the ship.
44 Michael."

§§ 266, 267,

268.

whose interests they represent, and that, therefore, they are
themselves entitled to investigate and give their decision in any quarrels
which may arise between the captains and crews of such vessels,
especially those relating to their wages and duties and the terms
of their agreements. The local authorities only interfere if the
disorder on board a ship occasion a disturbance of the public order
and peace on shore, or if natives or any other persons not belonging
to the ship are implicated in the affair. In all other cases the actions
of the local authorities are limited to giving the necessary assistance
to the Consular Officer, with a view to effecting the arrest of the
persons concerned and of conveying them on board or taking charge
of them on shore as may be most expedient in the opinion of the
Consular Officer. If it is desired that the arrested person be kept
in custody, timely information to that effect must be given by the
Consular Officer to the proper court of law.

The question of investigation and adjudication of differences
and disputes between sailors is dealt with indirectly in the treaties
of commerce and navigation concluded by Russia with the
Netherlands on the ist/i3th September 1846, Art. 14, paragraph 1 ; with
Belgium on the 28th May/gth June 1858, Art. 17 ; with Great Britain
on the 31st December i858/i2th January 1859 ; with Peru on the
4th/i6th May 1874, Art. 20, paragraph 2 ; with Denmark on the
28th February/i2th March 1895, Art. 10 ; with Japan on the 27th
May 1895, Art. 15, paragraph 3, which grant to Consular Officers of
the contracting parties the rights and privileges of Consular Officers
of the most-favoured nation.

It is very much to be regretted that the aforesaid State
conventions are not sufficiently explicit to render all doubts impossible in
Consular practice as to what quarrels and disputes are to be decided
by the Consular Officer, without interference on the part of the local
authorities. Thus differences often aiise as to the interpretation of
existing State treaties regarding disputes on board of foreign vessels.
In the year 1902, a dispute occurred between the captain and crew of
the Russian steamer " Michael," then lying at Dundee, as to payment
of wages and certain other matters of a disciplinary character. Some
of the men appealed to the local sheriff, who placed an arrest on the
steamer with a view to obtaining satisfaction for them. The local
Elective Vice-Consul, whose intervention the men had declined to
accept, then communicated with the State Consul at
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to whom he is subordinate. The latter was instructed by the
Imperial Embassy at London to proceed to Dundee and investigate
the matter. It is obvious that the crew of the " Michael" were under
obligation to abide by the terms of their contract and to obey the
prescriptions of the Russian law as to discipline on board of Russian
vessels, and that, on the other hand, the sheriff being alike ignorant
of Russian law and the Russian language, could hardly judge a
question which wholly turned on those laws. The local Elective
Vice-Consul, instructed by the State Consul at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was,
therefore, the only competent judge in the matter, particularly in view
of the "most-favoured nation" clause previously referred to. The
representations of the Newcastle State Consul to the above effect and

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