The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 24, 1887

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Kingston, Jan. 22nd - To the Editor: Justice wrote you a letter on the 20th inst., claiming that Canadian tows have to compete with American tows. I suppose he means in the matter of wages paid to mates on such vessels which do not carry certificated officers. Now, sir, as it was my good fortune last season to act in the capacity of mate on one of the American tows referred to I think I can state, without fear of contradiction, that my wages were higher on the American barge than those of captains on the barges belonging to the M.T. Co. I admit that it is not compulsory on the American side to carry certificated masters and mates, but let it be distinctly understood that the master of a vessel or barge on the American side, must be a competent man, and the master, if let alone, will see that he has a competent mate as well, and not allow the outside manager of any tow to put on board one he may choose to select about the docks at starvation wages. I would like to ask the writer of that article signed "Justice" to name the port where the mate left his vessel and she was detained a day as there was not a competent man to be found to take his place. Was this vessel one of the Scotia's tow. I think so. If so let the writer come out like a man and tell us why this competent man could not be found; or was it because a good man wanted the going wages, the wages paid by other boats of the same class? I have read in the Toronto papers that the vice-president of our Canadian Marine Association said in his speech at Toronto: "Now is our time to get the law amended, and if we do not get what we want it is our own fault." Get what? I would ask again, why a good competent man's wages should be cut down to the wages that a lower Canadian would expect on a river barge. Wil the vice-president of the Canadian Marine association tell us if the master and mate of the barge belonging to the M.T. Co., that broke adrift and went down two years ago on Lake Ontario had certificates? If the vice-president of this great Canadian Marine Association wants free canals let him advocate his cause (if he can get what he wants from Ottawa as he says he can,) but it is not manly in him to advocate free labour and him a protectionist.


p.8 Refitting Many Vessels - There is considerable work under way in the Deseronto shipyard department. The yacht Norah is being completely rebuilt. The engine and boilers have been removed from the str. Puritan and she has been otherwise dismantled with a view of converting her to a lumber and wood barge. The str. Rescue will be fitted out with a new engine. The str. Quinte is also receiving a new boiler, and other craft are undergoing a complete overhauling.

Incidents Of The Day - Last fall the schr. Eliza Quinlan, with coal from Oswego to Toronto, ran ashore at Presque Isle and there she has remained ever since. The men who hold the insurance on the cargo are anxious to have it taken out of the vessel, and Capt. Thomas Donnelly has been asked to superintend the job. He left for Presque Isle today to confer with the marine men with regard to the matter.

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Jan. 24, 1887
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 24, 1887