THE SHORTAGE QUESTION.
Another View of the Matter
Why Forwarders Charge For Vessel Deficiencies
Case In Point
A little knot of vesselmen occupied a street corner and vigorously discussed the shortage question. One said that it was a scandal for the Government to tax the grain that wasn't in a vessel, another said it was a swindle, and a third one said he'd be __ if he come here if he was going to be sat on by the Customs' officials.
"They have no right to charge duty upon grain passing through the country in bond, and when they tax the shortage it is equivalent to saying that the grain ought to be there, that if it ain't we made away with it or lost it. And that's not my view but the view of many," observed a speaker.
A bystander asked, "If the forwarders force you to make good the shortages, why should you not pay the duty also?"
"Reason enough," replied a burly seaman, as he removed his pipe and expectorated, as a man does when he has something to say. "Most bills of lading read that the carrier, that's me, having superintended the weighing of cargo on board, shall be liable for any deficiency in cargo to the consignee, or have its value deducted from his freight; and any excess in cargo shall be paid for by the consignee. Now if I'm short the Customs increase my misfortune by making me pay duty upon what I never had?"
"Exactly so," and two or three heads nodded significantly.
"The point is this," answered the spokesman of the party, for the information of all concerned, including a journalist, "suppose I obtain a cargo of 20,000 bush. of grain, and for a margin of $2,000 go to a bank manager and say: "Here is my warehouse receipts, my bill of lading, as security for your advances, and supposing that the cargo runs short 500 bushels, and the owner refuses to pay for it, what's the upshot? That the value of the security is reduced, the paper is not negotiable, and the trade suffers."
Overloading of Vessels.
We had a talk today with an old vessel captain in regard to the danger of overloading. Before us lay a schooner which was so low in the water that but little of her side was out of it. Said the mariner:
"Various causes are assigned for the damaging of cargoes, but in my opinion captains have themselves to blame for much of it. Freights are low, and when there is anything to be made by it the temptation is to load heavily. The classification is right enough, as to the condition of the craft, but the time is coming, has in fact come now, for a classification as to capacity."
"Do you think there is any danger of disaster by a continuation of the practice of which you speak?"
"Oh, I don't wish to be an alarmist, but in the gales of the coming fall I expect to see a verification of my statements. Within a week three cargoes, discharged at this port, have been damaged. They couldn't be otherwise when the decks were almost level with the water in a comparative calm. Each vessel carried about 2,000 bushels more than she ought to have done, and then the Captain "protests" against results, which would not have occurred under reasonable restrictions."
The schr. Huron is loading ties, posts and lath for Charlotte.
The tug Glide, with a tow of barges for Oswego, is wind bound here.
The schr. Prussia gets 4 1/2 cents on wheat from Toledo to Kingston.
The steamer Peerless and her consort, the Otonabee, have arrived from the Rideau Canal.
The schr. Maggie McRae, from Toledo, with 24,800 bushels wheat, has arrived at Portsmouth.
The coal arrivals are: schr. Enterprise, Oswego, 160 tons, and Julia, Oswego, 205 tons.
The schr. Maumee Valley brings staves from Ludington to Kingston at $4.25 per m.
The tug F.A. Folger towed the schr. Mary Lyon from Cape Vincent to Kingston this morning.
The schr. Jessie Scarth, from Toledo, came in this morning at 7 o'clock with 20,013 bushels of wheat.
The prop. Celtic arrived this afternoon from Chicago and lightened 9,000 bushels of wheat. She then proceeded to Montreal.
The tug Chieftain released the schr. Murray, ashore at Tyrconnell, and towed her to Port Stanley. She is slightly damaged.
A Chicago despatch of yesterday says the schr. Hyderabad, wheat laden for Kingston, ran back here leaking. She has unloaded her cargo and gone on the dry dock.
The steam barge Saxon arrived safe in Trenton Wednesday. She was very slightly injured by the collision with the Kingsford. The latter vessel is being pumped out and will probably be raised today.
The damaged portion of the cargo of the schr. Grantham was sold to Mr. Joseph Franklin at 23 cents per bushel. The owners of the grain pay the duty on its appraised value. The grain damaged in the schr. Huron was put in store and is being retailed out for feed.
Messrs. Calvin & Son are preparing for the construction of a steambarge at Garden Island, to have a capacity of about 25,000 bushels. The model has not yet been fully decided upon. The barge Huron, built at the island, is now the property of the Kingston & Montreal Company. (str. D.D. Calvin - ed.)
The schr. Lily Hamilton has been sold by W.Y. Emery, of Port Burwell, to John Sutherland, of Owen Sound, for which place she cleared this morning, the tug Glide towing her as far as Nine Mile Point. The vessel is commanded by Capt. Davidson, who takes charge of the schr. Fellowcraft, received in part payment for the Lily Hamilton. The last named craft will be converted into a barge.
Yesterday while the steamer Maud was lying at the upper side of the Thousand Island Park dock the steamer Magnet came along and halted. In leaving the dock she ran into the Maud, striking her hard, crushing in her stern bulwarks and greatly damaging her rudder post. This morning the Maud was unable to make her usual trip. She has been laid up for repairs. The rudder post will have to be unshipped and welded. It is an iron bar 5 inches in thickness. The bulwarks were broken at the bend in the vessel's stern.
There was quite a disturbance on the steamer Quinte, of Deseronto, one night last week. There was an excursion from Napanee and Deseronto. Part of the programme was to land at Hog Island and have supper by moonlight at Mrs. Davy's, where preparations had been made for their entertainment. The Captain refused to land, stating that he had been warned by the Manager of the Deseronto Navigation Company that if he landed he would be held personally responsible for any injury to the vessel, and he would not assume the risk. Persuasions and threats were resorted to to influence him in altering his decision, but to no avail. Some of the passengers then took revenge by throwing chairs and plants overboard. The company was in a state of mutiny all the way home.
The steambarge Kingsford has been raised. She floated when the Saxon, which collided with her, removed her deck load of 115,000 ft. of lumber. Her damage is not great, but a bad leak has been caused by a butt being opened by the concussion. The Kingsford is insured for $10,000. She is owned by Messrs. J.K. Post & Co., O.F. Gaylord, J.H. Mattoon and Capt. McCarthy. Yesterday Mr. Post asked the Canadian authorities for permission to send a wrecking boat and party from Oswego to the Kingsford, but his request was denied. He was then referred to the Kingston wreckers and recommended to secure them. The Express is mad about the matter and says the refusal to allow an American tug to go after the Kingsford is a breach of courtesy that only a "Canuck" would be guilty of. The sharp practice of the Canadians is not to be commended, but it has been inspired, we presume, by that of our American friend in the case of the tug Conqueror.