Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry




General Traffic Manager, Dominion Coal Company,




By Lord Mersey:


5472. What position do you occupy in connection with the Dominion Coal Company?
- I am general traffic manager.

5473. Does the company pay any bonus or gratuity to the captain or any of the men on their steamers for making a quick voyage?
- No, my Lord, but I think I should explain something, if you will allow me. Our trip report instructions to captains, Rule 13 reads:

'13. When a vessel sustains damage at any berth, except at company’s coal piers Sydney or Louisburg, or at Wellington Basin, Windmill Point, or Hochelaga Towers, Montreal, or at the company’s discharging plants, Quebec, Three Rivers and St. Johns, captains are requested to either have party at fault repair damage at once, if it can be done without delaying the vessel, or to agree in writing that he is responsible, and will pay for damage and state in writing what the damage is and what it will cost in money to make the same good (captain will see price is correct), and send statement to general traffic manager, so he may collect money from party at fault. Captains should protect company’s interest in damage matters as against outside stevedores and companies with the same zeal as they display in protecting their owner’s. To captains who safeguard its interests in this and other matters, the company pays a gratuity.’

This is a universal practice in connection with chartered boats.

Lord Mersey:
I see another provision here, as follows:

1 Captains are reminded of the importance of making every moment count, and the necessity for being energetic in pushing their work along. If any delays occur, through the fault of companies, officers or employees, do not hesitate to report same promptly to superintendent of shipping. When requested, such reports will be treated confidentially.’

Then another:

(Please show below all delays on the trip, stating where they occurred, duration, cause, whether for pilot, customs, tug, doctors, bills of lading, clearance papers, cargo, cars, lighters, stevedores, orders, storm, fog, darkness, tide, etc., and who, if any person, is at fault. State whether on outward or homeward voyage or at loading or discharging port.’

Have you anything more to say?
- No, my Lord.


By Mr. Meredith:


5474. In Rule 13 of the Instructions to Captains which you have read, Mr. McIsaac, which speaks of the gratuity, is that gratuity worked out on the tonnage that is carried by each ship?
- It is on so much per ton, yes.

5475. Carried by each ship?
- Yes.

5476. So that the greater the number of tons carried on a ship by any one captain, the greater his gratuity, if gratuity he gets.
- The slow steamers get the same rate as the fast boats.

5477. The slow steamers get the same rate?
- Yes, the same rate.

5478. The greater the tonnage carried by any steamer, the greater the gratuity, if you allow any gratuity?
- It depends on the time the steamer is on charter, Some boats are only on charter for one trip, some others for a month and some others, for the season.

5479. I do not know that we understand each other. Supposing you take two ships that are on charter for one month. The captain of the steamer that carries and lands the greater amount of tonnage during the month will get the greater gratuity, if you give him any at all; isn’t that so?
- Yes, the more coal, there is no doubt, that is carried in the season, or in the period, the more the gratuity amounts to.

5480. If that gratuity is allowed, who does it go to? What I mean is; does it go alone to the captain and certain of the officers and certain of the engineers?
- It is given to the captain and one of the officers and one of the engineers.

5481. And Captain Andersen, who has been examined in this case, was the master of the Storstad. - Had he before this made any trips for your Company from Sydney to Montreal?
- Yes, sir.

5482. Was he furnished one of these papers; they call it here 'Captain’s Trip Report,’ and, on the back, ‘Instructions to Captains.’ Did he, on his return from Montreal to Sydney, fill in this captain’s report with these instructions on the back?
- Yes.

5483. Have you got that with you?
- I have, yes, sir.

Mr. Meredith:
May I be allowed to file either the blank which has been spoken of, or this report?

Lord Mersey:
Of course you shall.

The Witness:
I prepared to take it with me, but evidently I have left it in the hotel.


By Lord Mersey:


5484. When the captain got to Montreal on this particular trip, did he fill up one of these forms?
- He made out one of these forms.

5485. Has it anything in it relating to the damage?
- It was the previous trip’s report.

5486. I am asking you about this particular trip. Did he ever fill out one of these forms with reference to this trip that we are enquiring about?
- No, my Lord.

5487. Why didn’t he, because she arrived, you know, with her cargo.
- The trip report is made after the steamer arrives at the mines.

5488. At Montreal?
- The voyage is completed at the mines at Sydney; the voyage begins at Sydney and ends at Sydney.

5489. Oh, I see; the trip consists of going from Sydney to Montreal and then going back to Sydney.
- Yes, my Lord.

5490. This ship on this voyage never did go back to Sydney?
- No, my Lord.

5491. She is still lying at Montreal, and therefore the opportunity of making the return did not arise?
- Exactly.

5492. Now, then, you have some returns, as I understand, of previous voyages?
- Yes, my Lord.

5493. But you have not them with you?
- No, I intended to bring it but I left it.

5494. How long would it take you to get them?
- About five minutes.

5495. Then will you occupy the next five minutes in finding them?


Witness retired.