p. 300 C
ACT 5 GEO. IV., CAP. 51 (IMPERIAL).¹
An Act to Repeal Several Laws relating to the Fisheries Carried on upon the Banks and Shores of Newfoundland, and to make Provision for the Better Conduct of the said Fisheries for Five Years, and from thence to the End of the then next Session of Parliament. [3d June 1824.]
"Whereas it is expedient to repeal and amend divers Statutes and Laws relating to the Fisheries on the Banks and Shores of Newfoundland, and to make such further Provisions as the present State and Condition of the Colony require;" Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the Act passed in the Tenth and Eleventh Year of the Reign of His Majesty King William the Third, intituled An Act to encourage the Trade to Newfoundland; and so much of another Act passed in the Fifteenth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Third intituled An Act for the Encouragement of the Fisheries carried on from Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions in Europe, and for securing the Return of the Fishermen, Sailors and others employed in the said Fisheries, to the Ports thereof, at the end of the Fishing Season, as relates to the Masters and Crews of Fishing Ships occupying or using any vacant Spaces in Newfoundland, to the Privilege of drying Fish on the Shores, to Fishing Ships or Boats not being liable to Restraint or Regulations with respect to Days or Hours of working, or making Entry at the Custom House, to the carrying or conveying of Passengers to the Continent of America, to Agreements or Contracts between Hirers or Employers and Seamen or Fishermen, to the Penalties on such Hirers or Employers advancing Wages, and on such Seamen or Fishermen absenting themselves from their Duty, or neglecting or refusing to work, and the Manner of determining Disputes and Offences; and also so much of another Act passed in the Twenty sixth Year of the Reign of His said Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Act to amend and render more effectual the several Laws now in Force for encouraging the Fisheries carried on at Newfoundland and Parts adjacent, from Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions in Europe, and for granting Bounties for a limited Time, on certain Terms and Conditions, as relates to the Wages of Green Men, the using of
Seans or Nets, Seamen or Fishermen absenting themselves or neglecting their Duty, or deserting or intending to desert; and also so much of another Act passed in the Twenty ninth Year of the Reign of His said Majesty George the Third, intituled An Act for further encouraging and regulating the Newfoundland and Greenland and Southern Whale Fisheries, as relates to the Privilege of landing and drying Fish in Newfoundland, shall be and the same are hereby repealed.
II. And be it further enacted, That no Alien or Stranger whatsoever shall at any Time hereafter take Bait, or use any Sort of Fishing whatsoever in Newfoundland, or the Coasts, Bays or Rivers thereof, or on the Coast of Labrador, or in any of the Islands or Places within or dependent upon the Government of the said Colony; always excepting the Rights and Privileges granted by Treaty to the Subjects or Citizens of any Foreign State or Power in Amity with His Majesty.
"III. And Whereas it is expedient to obviate any Doubts which have arisen or may arise, as to what Persons are entitled to the Right or Privilege of taking, curing and drying Fish on the Shores and Banks of Newfoundland;" Be it therefore enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for all His Majesty's Subjects residing in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or in any of His Majesty's Colonies, Plantations or Dominions, to have, use and enjoy the free Trade and Traffic and Art of Merchandize and Fishery to and from Newfoundland and the Coast of Labrador aforesaid, and all and every the Islands or Places within or dependent upon the Government of Newfoundland, and peaceably to have, use and enjoy the Freedom of fishing and taking Bait in any of the Seas, Rivers, Lakes, Creeks, Harbours or Roads in or about Newfoundland or the said Coast of Labrador, or any of the Islands adjacent thereunto respectively; and Liberty to go on Shore on any vacant or unoccupied Part of Newfoundland or said Coasts of Labrador, or any of the said Islands adjacent thereunto respectively, for curing, salting, drying and husbanding of their Fish, and for making Oil; and to cut down Wood and Trees on any such vacant or unoccupied Places as aforesaid, for building and making or repairing of Stages, Ship Rooms, Train Fats, Hurdles, Ships, Boats and other Necessaries for themselves and their Servants, Seamen and Fishermen, and all other Things which may be useful or advantageous to their Fishing Trade to do, as fully and freely as at any Time heretofore by virtue of any former Act of Parliament hath been done there by any of His Majesty's Subjects, without any Hindrance, Interruption, Denial or Disturbance whatsoever.
IV. And be it further enacted, That whenever any Ship or Vessel shall be cleared out from any Port in the said Colony of Newfoundland, or in any other Part of His Majesty's Dominions, for the said Fisheries on the Banks or Coasts of Newfoundland or Labrador, or the Dependencies thereof, without having on board any Article of Traffic (except only such Provisions, Nets, Tackle and other Things as are usually employed in and about the said Fishery,
and for the conduct and carrying on of the same), the Master of any such Ship or Vessel shall be entitled to demand from the Collector, or other Principal Officer of His Majesty's Customs at such Port, a Certificate under His Hand, that such Vessel hath been specially cleared out for the Newfoundland Fishery, for which Certificate a Fee of Five Shillings and no more shall be payable to such Collector or other Principal Officer as aforesaid, and such Certificate shall be in force for the Fishing Season of the Year in which the same may be granted, and no longer; and upon the first Arrival in any Port in the said Colony of Newfoundland, or its Dependencies, of any Ship or Vessel having on board any such Certificate as aforesaid, a Report thereof shall be made by the Master of such Ship or Vessel, to the Principal Officer of His Majesty's Customs at such Port, who shall forthwith make an Entry of such Report in the Books of the Custom House to which he may be attached or belong, and for receiving and registering such Report, a Fee not exceeding Five Shillings shall and may be taken by such Officer of the Customs at Newfoundland; and all Ships and Vessels having on board any such Certificate as aforesaid, which hath in Manner aforesaid been duly reported to some Officer of His Majesty's Customs within the said Colony, and being actually engaged in the said Fishery, or in carrying coastwise, to be landed or put on board any other Ships or Vessels engaged in the said Fishery, any Fish, Oil, Salt, Provisions or other Necessaries for the Use and Purposes thereof, shall be exempt from all Obligation to make any Entry at or obtain any Clearance from any Custom House at Newfoundland, upon entering the Ports or Harbours of the said Colony or its Dependencies, during the Continuance of the Fishing Season for which such Certificate may have been granted: Provided nevertheless, that when any such Ship or Vessel as aforesaid shall finally quit the said Fishery, for any Country or Place not being within the said Colony or the Dependencies thereof, such Ship or Vessel shall obtain the usual Clearance from some Port in the said Colony or the Dependencies thereof; and previously to obtaining such Clearance, the Master of such Ship or Vessel shall deliver up the before mentioned Certificate to the principal Officer of the Customs of such Port: Provided also, that in case any such Ship or Vessel shall have on, board, during the Time the same may be engaged in the said Fishery, any Goods or Merchandizes whatsoever other than Fish, Seals, Oil made of Fish or Seals, Salt, Provisions or other Things, being the Produce of or usually employed in the said Fishery, such Ships or Vessels shall forfeit the said Fishing Certificate, and shall thenceforth become and be subject and liable to all such and the same Rules, Restrictions and Regulations, as such Ship or Vessel would have been subject or liable to if this Act had not been made; any Thing hereinbefore contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
V. And for preserving the Harbours of the said Colony of Newfoundland and its Dependencies from all Annoyances, be it further enacted, That no Ballast Stones or any Thing else hurtful or injurious to any of the Harbours there, shall be thrown out of any Ship, vessel or Boat, or otherwise, by any Person or Persons whatsoever, to the Prejudice of any of the said Harbours,
but that all such Ballast and other Things shall be carried on Shore and be laid where they may do no Annoyance; and if any Person or Persons shall throw out of any Ship, Vessel or Boat, or otherwise, any Ballast, Stones or other Thing hurtful or injurious to any of the Harbours of the said Colony or its Dependencies, or shall wantonly or maliciously do or procure to be done any other Matter or Thing whereby any of the said Harbours shall or may be damaged or impaired, the Persons or Person so offending shall incur and become liable to the Payment of any Fine not less than Forty Shillings, nor more than Fifty Pounds Sterling British Money, or to Imprisonment for any Time not exceeding One Calendar Month, or both, at the Discretion of the Court before which any such or Offender may be convicted.
VI. And be it further enacted, no Person or Persons whatsoever shall cast anchor or do any other Matter or Thing to the Annoyance or hindering of the drawing or hauling of Nets or Scans in the customary Baiting Places in Newfoundland, or the Dependencies thereof, or shoot his or their Net or Sean within or upon the Net or Sean of any other Person or Persons whatever; and also that no Person or Persons whatsoever shall steal, purloin or take any Fish or Bait out of the Net or Sean of any other Person or Persons whatsoever, lying adrift or drover for Bait by Night.
VII. And be it enacted, That no Person or Persons whatsoever shall employ or cause to be employed at Newfoundland, or any of the Dependencies thereof, for the Purpose of carrying on the Fishery there, any Seamen or Fishermen going as Passengers, or any Seamen or Fishermen, hired there, without first entering into an Agreement or Contract with every such Seaman or Fisherman declaring what Wages or Shares such Seaman or Fisherman is to leave, and the Time for which he shall serve, and in what Manner such Wages or Shares are to be paid or allowed; and every such Agreement or Contract shall be made in Writing, and shall be signed by all the Parties thereto.
VIII. And be it further enacted, That no Hirer or Employer of any such Seaman or Fisherman shall pay or advance, or cause to be paid or advanced to such Seaman or Fisherman in Money or Goods, during the Time he shall be in the Service of such Hirer or Employer, more than to the Amount of Three fourths of the Wages or Shares which by the said Contract or Agreement shall be agreed to be paid or allowed to such Seaman or Fisherman; but such Hirer or Employer shall and is hereby required and directed immediately at or upon the Expiration of every such Seaman or Fisherman's covenanted Time of Service, to pay either in Money or Goods (according as may be agreed upon as aforesaid in such Contract or Agreement in Writing), to every such Seaman or Fisherman, the full Balance of One fourth Part of his stipulated Wages or Shares aforesaid; and it shall not be lawful for any such Hirer or Employer to turn away or discharge any such Seaman or Fisherman, except for wilful Neglect of Duty or other sufficient Cause, before the Expiration of his stipulated Time of Service; and in case the Hirer or Employer of any such Seaman or Fisherman shall refuse or neglect to comply
with any of the Terms hereinbefore mentioned, or shall otherwise offend against this Act, every such Person so offending shall forfeit for every such Offence any Sum not less than Five Pounds, nor more than Fifty Pounds Sterling Money, to the Use of such Person or Persons as shall inform or sue for the same, to be recovered in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, or by Bill, Plaint or Information in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster: Provided always, that every such Suit or Prosecution, if the same be commenced in Newfoundland, shall be commenced within One Year; and if commenced in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster, within Two Years from the Time of the Commission of such Offence.
IX. And be it further enacted, That in all Cases where Disputes shall arise concerning the Wages of any such Seaman or Fisherman, the Hirer or Employer shall be obliged to produce the Contract or Agreement in Writing hereinbefore directed to be entered into with every such Seaman or Fisherman, and also to give a Copy thereof to every such Seaman or Fisherman, if so required.
X. And be it further enacted, That all the Fish and Oil which shall be taken and made by the Person or Persons who shall hire or employ such Seaman or Fisherman, shall be subject and liable in the first Place to the Payment of the Wages or Shares of every such Seaman or Fisherman, and of the Demands of such Person or Persons as shall bond fide supply Bait to such Seaman or Fisherman for the Use and Benefit of the Hirer or Employer of such Seaman or Fisherman.
XI. And be it further enacted, That in case any such Seaman or Fisherman shall at any time wilfully absent himself from his Duty or Employ without the Leave and Consent of his Hirer or Employer, or shall wilfully neglect or refuse to work, according to the true Intent and Meaning of his said Contract or Agreement, such Seaman or Fisherman shall for every Day he shall so absent himself, or neglect or refuse to work as aforesaid, forfeit any Number of Days' Pay or Shares not exceeding Thirty to such Hirer or Employer; and if any such Seaman or Fisherman shall wilfully absent himself from his said Duty or Employment for the Space of Fourteen Days without such Leave as aforesaid, he shall be deemed a Deserter, and shall forfeit to such Hirer or Employer all such Wages as shall at the Time of such Desertion be due to him; and it shall and may be lawful for any Justice or Justices of the Peace of Newfoundland, or the Dependencies thereof, to issue his or their Warrant or Warrants to apprehend every such Deserter, and on the Oath of One or more Credible Witness or Witnesses to commit him to Prison, there to remain until the next Court of Sessions; and if found guilty of the said Offence at such Court of Sessions, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Court of Sessions to order such Deserter to be imprisoned for any Time not exceeding Three Calendar Months, and afterwards to be put on board a Passage Ship, in order to his being conveyed back to the Country whereto he belongs, in case such Deserter be not a Native of or settled within the said Colony.
[¹ This Act was further continued in force by chap. 79, Imperial Statutes, 1832, until the 31st December, 1834, when it expired.]