THE SHOVELLERS' DIFFICULTY.
The Editor, British Whig.
Sir, - In your report of the meeting of shovellers I notice that no reason was given by the M.T. Co. for ruling that men belonging to the Union should not be allowed to unload schooners during the coming season. We only get a third of the regular price for unloading the Co.'s barges, except the lake schooners, and for a portion of last season we charged the same for them as other vessels. This is what the trouble is about. Another thing: We would not submit to men being foisted upon us who were not able to do their share of the work, but didn't care as they were put there by Captain Gaskin.
There is nothing wrong about the Union. It was started to get fair prices and make every man do his share. A great principle was to assist any of our number who were sick, each man contributing so much a week for his support until his recovery. I would like to know how long it would be before the M.T. Co. would send one of their sick men his week's wages? It is foolish for the Company to say they are taking this action to help the business of the harbor. This is foolishness. The price we have been getting is from $1 to $2 per thousand less than at any American port like Buffalo or Oswego. We are as much interested in getting business to come here as any one else in order that we will get work. It was only a short time ago that the M.T. Co. applied for exemption from taxes and talked loudly about what they were doing for the working men, but the moment they got what they wanted they said, "You must take what we give or no work." I would just say, Let us be true to one another and May will not be well begun until we get what we want and nothing more - fair pay for what work we do.
Feb. 1st A SHOVELLER.
Kingston being one of the places where marine examinations will occur it is well that candidates should know what will be required of them. They must first pass the examination in colours. A mate must be 19 years of age and have served at least two years at sea. He must write legibly, and be able to find his latitude by a meridian altitude of the sun. Must be able to take a bearing by compass, and determine his position by cross-bearing on the chart, and to shape a course and determine the distance run from any given departure. He must possess a thorough knowledge of the "Rule of the Road," as regards both steamers and sailing vessels, their regulation lights, fog and sound signals. He must know the signals to be made if in distress. He must understand both the lead and the log, knotting and splicing rigging and stowing a cargo. He will be examined in seamanship generally, either for "square rig," "fore and aft" or "steamer," as the case may be. If in the latter he must have a knowledge of the fittings for fire purposes, the bulkhead sluices, if any, and the engine room telegraph, the securing and lowering of the life boats and life rafts. The examiner will ask any other questions he may think fit relating to the duties of a mate.
A Master's Requirements.
A master must be 21 years of age, and have been at sea at least three years, one of which he must have been a mate. In addition to the qualifications for a mate, he will have to explain how he would shape a course to counteract the effect of a given current, and find the distance made good towards a given point in a certain time. In addition to the qualifications for a mate, he must know the principal lights on the coast, and be well acquainted with the tides and soundings. He will be required to explain how he would lay out an anchor in case of stranding, and be able to rig a temporary rudder should the steering apparatus become disabled. He will be questioned as to his knowledge of protests, invoices, charter party, bottomry bonds, and bills of lading. The examiner will ask him any further questions he may think fit relative to the duties of a master.
These certificates shall be valid for the inland lakes and rivers of Canada, including such great waters as Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Other Requirements Stated.
A candidate for a Certificate of Service will require to produce satisfactory evidence of sobriety, experience, ability and general good conduct, and furnish the name or names and class of vessels in which he served as master or mate, as the case may be, previous to the 1st January, 1883. Testimonials of character and of sobriety, experience, ability and good conduct on board ship, will be required of all applicants, and without producing them no person will be examined. As such testimonials will have to be closely examined by the examiners, for verification before any certificates can be granted, candidates are to lodge them as early as possible. The testimonials of servitude of foreigners and British seamen, serving in foreign vessels, must be confirmed either by the Consul of the country to which the ship in which the candidate served belonged, or by some other official authority of that country, or by the testimony of some credible person on the spot, having personal knowledge of the facts required to be established. Upon application to one of the examiners candidates will be supplied with a form, which they will be required to fill up and lodge with their testimonials in the hands of the examiners.