The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 2, 1883


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p.2

OUR WRECKING LAWS.

The Canadian Government cannot be expected to abolish its obnoxious law in regard to wrecking until the United States Government does so. There is great need of an international movement in that direction. We never could understand the motives of our American friends in passing an Act which forbade Canadian steamboats and tugs going to the rescue of distressed vessels, which forced many a Captain to desert his ship and allow her to go to ruin simply because American wreckers were not within hailing distance and Canadians dare not respond to his call. The Dominion Government was driven to retaliation in defence of its marine ere it promoted similar legislation. We can applaud every word of the Inter-Ocean when it says: "Both the United States and Canada should be ashamed of their wrecking laws. This spring an American tug with a tow of barges broke down in Lake Ontario, and the barges, being quite helpless, were in imminent danger of being lost when the Canadian tug McArthur came along and towed them into Oswego. For this act of saving American property the American Government fined the Canadian tug $400! While our Government is capable of such an act of barbarism, or of allowing a law to remain in force that permits such a penalty, the less any American paper says about the dog-in-the-manger policy of the Canadians the better." It may be said that at certain times the laws have been relaxed, that application has been made to the respective Governments and permission granted to wreckers to operate upon vessels in foreign waters; but official correspondence is slow at all times, and before a decision has been reached in some cases the thing was rendered worthless. It is too late when a vessel ashore, beached at some exposed point, is rolled to pieces, to go to her relief. Wrecking under such circumstances is of little account. We do not presume to know how far Governments can be approached, how far their differences may be compromised. The protests of the mariners should be respected, however; the experience of the past should convince the law-givers of the absurdity of the existing statutes, and they should find some ground for removing an embargo upon a business which should never be injured by Parliament.

p.3 Here and There - prop. Walter L. Frost, going up new canal, carried away both head gates of lock 5.

New Steamer - to be built for St. Lawrence Steamboat Co.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Oct. 2, 1883
Local identifier:
KN.14799
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 2, 1883