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The average monthly wages paid to seamen classified as to duty are as follows (shilling 24.3 cents):
These wages are the same all the year round.
American masters and owners prefer crews belonging to the English-speaking race. American sailors shipped on foreign vessels at this port are virtually none, with the exception of a very few destitute men for whom this consulate has obtained berths on the steamships Berlin and Chester of the American Line, but sailing under the British flag. The wages paid by the American Line to crews on their steamships under the American flag are considerably higher than those paid by any other line of vessels sailing from this port. Thus, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, running mail steamers to Brazil and the River Plate, and also to the West Indies, pay as follows:
The officers and engineers are paid as per arrangement with the company, but their rates of pay are considerably less than those of the American Line.
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company is the oldest established line of mail steamers in Britain, and their scale of pay is the general rate from this port. Some lines pay less.
From this it will be seen that the advantages are, therefore, much in favor of the men shipping in the American liners, under the American flag.
The only two British vessels sailing out of this port for the United States are the Berlin and Chester.
The average wages paid for the month of June was:
The U. S. consul at Liverpool reports under date August 28, 1894:
The only steamers of American registry running to this port are those of the American Line, owned by the International Navigation Company, of New York, sailing between this port and Philadelphia. The officers-carpenters, mates, second mates, engineers, and second engineers-of these vessels are shipped in Philadelphia, and the crews-able seamen, boatswains, firemen, and trimmers (coal-passers)— at this port.
Number of men shipped, classified as to nationality, viz: Americans, 26; British, 697; Germans, 28; Norwegians and Swedes, 26; Danes, 3; French, Italians, and other foreigners, 7.
The average monthly wages paid are:
There does not appear to be any national difference in the qualifications of seamen employed on steam vessels, at least not sufficient to lead masters to prefer one
class of men to another, and there is no difference whatever in the rates of wages paid to the crews of American vessels that ship at this port with those shipped on British vessels, and no discrimination is made in this connection with seamen of any nationality that ship here on American or British vessels.
The number of American sailors shipped on British vessels at this port for the fiscal year named is 527, in addition to 67 firemen and coal-passers, and 377 other persons in various capacities. In addition there were 2,797 cattlemen employed in the transatlantic cattle trade, but these, of course, are not counted as part of the crew of the vessel on which they sail. The number of Americans shipping on vessels of other nationality is comparatively small. For instance, the number shipped on German vessels during the period named was only 25.
No difference in wages exists at this port for crews of American and British vessels, and there are no advantages or disadvantages to the seamen shipping at this port on American vessels compared with British vessels.
The U. S. consul at Hamburg reports, under date of July 11, 1894:
It seems a very sad commentary to have to make on the shipping of our country, when I reply to the first four interrogatories of the Treasury by saying that during the year in question there was not a single American steamer of any sort or tonnage entered at this port. Nor can I find in the records of this consulate, covering a period of over thirty-five years, a trace of any others, with the exception of the year 1888, when one steamer of about 1,900 gross tons happened in.
I can not but believe that such an announcement would astound most of our people when it is considered that Hamburg, a city of over half a million souls, is, after Liverpool and New York, the largest shipping port in the world; that it is by far the most important seaport and distributing center of the Continent; that in its harbor can be seen the flag of every third-rate power in the world that has a sea coast; that so large a part of it has been built with American dollars; that its import and export trade with the United States is larger by much than that with any other country, and that one steamship line alone dispatches, on an average, over three steamers a week the year round, carrying passengers to the United States, while the same number bring them back from there.
Not only have none of our steamers participated in the carrying trade of this port for years, but, of sailing vessels bearing our flag, there were during the year ending June 30, 1894, but 2 here, during 1890 none, during 1891, 1892, and 1893, 2 each, and during the years ending June 30, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, and 1889, 29 altogether.
The number of American sailors shipping on foreign yessels at this port is very small, and among these must be reckoned persons not seafaring, who get stranded here from one cause or another and have to work their passage back home, as well as those who merely claim American citizenship when going before the shipping officers, without being able to produce papers to prove to what country they really belong.
Of American sailors shipping on foreign vessels during the year ended June 30, 1894, there were on German vessels about 30; on British, 27; on French, Belgian, Norwegian, Danish, and Italian, none.
There are no advantages or disadvantages to seamen shipping at this port on American vessels compared with foreign vessels. The highest wages are paid to crews of American and English vessels. Sailors on German ships receive about 5 marks a month less than these, and those on Norwegian ships about 5 marks less than the German crews.
On the lines running to Africa and long distances, German sailors will ship for from 5 to 10 marks a month less than are paid crews of vessels of other nationalities, on condition that they be provided on the voyage with German fare.
The U. S. consul at Havre, under date of July 12, 1894, reports:
No crews for American steamships have been shipped at this consulate during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894; but I inclose herewith a tabular statement of crews shipped on American vessels at this port during the period named. Nativity of seamen shipped at Havre on American sailing vessels during the fiscal year: 27 Americans, 21 British, 5 Germans, 15 French, I Italian, 27 Scandinavians, 5 Russians, 3 Chinese, 2 Swiss, 3 Dutch; total, 109.
American masters or owners have not expressed any preference or made any difference in wages on account of nationality. They have accepted, without question, such seamen as are provided by the shipping master, without reference to character or nationality. Many of the crews discharged from American vessels at this port
have reshipped on the same vessel or some other American vessel, when one chances to be leaving port, soon after the discharge of the seaman.
The records of other consulates do not show accurately whether the seamen shipped had acquired the character of American seamen. Quite all are of foreign birth, but there is no record to indicate whether any are naturalized Americans.
The following shows the usual rate of wages per month paid able-bodied seamen :
The advantages to seamen in shipping at this port on American vessels compared with foreign vessels is about $1.30 per month for the western voyage. There are but two American ships now in this port.
Victoria, British Columbia.
The U. S. consul at Victoria, British Columbia, reports under date of July 12, 1894:
No crews have been shipped on American steamers of 1,500 and over gross tonnage at the port of Victoria, British Columbia, during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1894. The Pacific Coast Steamship Line is the only American line of that tonnage touching at this port, and the crews for these vessels are always shipped at San Francisco. An occasional man may be added here to fill a transit vacancy, but he is not regularly shipped.
The average monthly wages on the Pacific Coast Line are as follows:
There is no appreciable difference between the nationalities as to qualifications, and no distinction as to nationality is made in wages. The Pacific Coast Line has men of all nationalities in its crews, but all are expected to be able to understand, if not to speak, the American language.
English sailors are regarded as best for long deep-sea voyages, while as stevedores the Americans are decidedly superior to all others. They are quicker in motion and have had more experience in that line.
Very few Americans ship on foreign steam vessels at this port. A large proportion of the crews of sealing vessels are Americans, and perhaps half of the hunters on these vessels are Americans. But these are small crafts, and are under sail exclusively.
American vessels pay higher wages than any others entering this port, especially in the engineer department.
In the British Line, between Vancouver and Sydney, the first engineer receives but $100 per month; the second, $90, and the third, $75. The boatswain receives $25 to $35, and regular seamen about $30. Other employés in proportion. The crews of this line are all white men. The reason of this is that the labor organizations of New South Wales have 34 members in the provincial parliament, and they have passed laws which forbid the employment of Chinese or Japanese as crews.
On the Empress Line (British), from Vancouver to Hongkong, the principal officers are white men, while the bulk of the crews are Chinese. This is also true of the line from Tacoma to Hongkong.
The advantages to the crews shipping on American vessels are: (1) They have higher wages; (2) more considerate treatment; (3) better food; (4) better sleeping accommodations.
On the Pacific Coast Steamship Line meals for the crews are prepared in accordance with a regular bill of fare for each day of the week. I quote the bill for Sunday: Breakfast: cracked wheat, beefsteak, dry hash, boiled potatoes, hot rolls, bread, butter, and coffee; dinner: soup, roast and boiled corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, plum pudding, bread and butter, coffee; supper: beefsteak, stew, boiled potatoes, bread and butter, pickles, tea, condensed milk; and for the rest of the week the fare is equally tempting.
German and French vessels seldom touch at this port.
The U. S. consul at Panama reports under date of July 12, 1894:
The Pacific Mail Steamship Company has 4 steamers for which I ship full crews every six months. These steamers do not go to San Francisco; they are coasters
doing business between this port and all the ports of Mexico and Central America; these vessels, with the exception of the steamship Starbuck, are all below 1,500 tons and above 1,000.
The names of the principal American lines of steamships for which crews were shipped are the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and the American Navigation Company.
The grand total of men shipped at this port during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, was 563, out of which 319 were shipped on vessels of 1,500 tons or more. The nationalities of these are as follows: 105 Americans, 15 Englishmen, 109 Colombians, 36 Chileans, 48 Chinamen, and 6 of other nationalities. The average of monthly wages is as follows:
As officers the Americans and Englishmen are about on a par; as seamen the Chinamen are the most useful and obedient; the Colombian is the ablest seaman, but too independent. The balance of nationalities shipped belong to the riffraff of the world, and can not as a rule be praised. This is my experience at this port. If one had the pick among Americans, it is my conviction that they would be the best crews. Unfortunately, our merchant marine offers no inducement to the youth of our land. A crew of Chinamen will give less trouble than any other nationality under the present circumstances; and they, as well as the Colombians and Chileans, are willing to work for less.
The American vessels pay the highest wages. No nations ship men here, except the United States, the English, and the Chileans, and no nation enjoys advantages or suffers from disadvantages that other nations are free of.
The U. S. consul at Curaçao reports under date of August 6, 1894:
The only line of American steamships running to this port is the Red D Line from New York. The total number of men shipped on board steamships of this line of more than 1,500 tons during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, is 202, in the capacity of winch and mess boys, natives of this island, and at monthly wages of more or less than $15. American or foreign engineers, tiremen or seamen are seldom shipped here. This rule, however, does not apply to small steamers under the American flag, plying between this and Venezuelan ports, whose crews are principally natives of this place and better able to stand the climate than Americans or Europeans.
The U. S. consul at Valparaiso reports under date of August 16, 1894:
There is no American line of steamships running to Valparaiso. The average monthly wages paid at this port to crews of foreign steamships of over 1,500 gross tons is as follows, viz (shilling=24.3 cents):
In the shipment of seamen, masters of American vessels generally give the preference to Swedish, Norwegian, German, Danish, and Russian seamen. Irish and Greek seamen are often rejected by masters when seamen of other nationalities can be had. Seamen shipping out of this port on American, English, French, German, and other vessels are paid the same wages, viz, £3. 108., or $17, United States gold, per month, this being the wages out of this port at the present time.
The number of men discharged and deserting at this port from American vessels during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, was 43, 11 of whom were Americans. About three-fourths of these American seamen ship on foreign vessels, owing to the few American vessels which come to this port.
There is no difference in the wages paid out of this port to crews of American, British, German, French, and Norwegian vessels. The only advantage accruing to American seamen shipping on American vessels is that they are thus oftener offered an opportunity of returning to the United States.
There is a line of steamers (Merchants' Line) running between New York and Valparaiso and calling at ports in Ecuador and Peru. These steamers, although owned by citizens of the United States who are residents thereof, sail under the British flag. They do a large carrying trade.
The U. S. consul at Hongkong, under date of September 11, 1894, reports shipments of men for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company as follows: Chinese, 639; Japanese, 18; total, 657.
Average monthly wages are paid in Mexican dollars. Wages per month, according to capacity, is as follows:
American masters of sailing vessels prefer American seamen, but no difference of wages are paid on account of nationality.
Only Chinese and Japanese have been shipped from this office in American steamships.
Wages paid to American, British, German, French, etc., crews average about the
ADMEASUREMENT AND NET TONNAGE.
Gross tonnage is the measurement of the internal contents of a ship expressed in terms of 100 cubic feet, named a ton. Mercantile nations have adopted the system of measurement devised by Mr. Moorsom, the first surveyor-general of England, and bearing his name. It was adopted in the United States in 1865, ten years after its adoption by Great Britain.
Net tonnage is, in theory, the measure of the capacity of a ship to carry freight and passengers-its earning capacity-and is ascertained by deducting from gross tonnage the spaces occupied by the master and crew in sailing vessels, and in steam vessels the spaces occupied by master and crew and those required for engines, boilers, coal bunkers, and spaces directly contributory to motive power.
Its net tonnage is usually taken as a vessel's registered tonnage, and is the basis on which many maritime taxes are imposed all over the world. As a basis of taxation it thus becomes a factor of importance in the cost of operation of vessels, for a reduction in net tonnage is equivalent to a reduction of taxation on every voyage a vessel makes to a port where required to pay any taxes-general, municipal, or for specific services-which may be based on net tonnage.
A very candid statement of the relations of gross and net tonnage to the expenses of operating vessels is made by M. Siegfried, in the report on which the present French navigation bounty act is based. He says:
"The shipowners of foreign nations find it to their interest to have the net tonnage of their vessels as small as possible, because port charges, as a rule, are paid on net tonnage. These port charges, which are so heavy a burden on navigation, are accordingly reduced as net tonnage is reduced. Consequently the legislation of foreign nations has always tended to diminish net tonnage, and numerous reductions have been made successively in this respect.