The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 13, 1872

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p.2 The Damaged Flour - There was a good attendance yesterday at the advertised auction sale of damaged flour, the cargo of the unfortunate freight steamer York, which lately ran aground on Petticote Reef. The bidding was lively, and was conducted in the presence of Captain Douglass, agent of the Western Insurance Company, and Mr. Tait, one of the steamer's owners. The stock of flour was nearly all disposed of to local dealers and bakers.


To The Editor of The Daily News;

Sir, - As the article in your issue of the 9th instant, respecting the registration of vessels, stated that the subject "demands more than a passing notice," but does not give sufficient details to enlighten shippers, shipowners, and the public generally, I propose to give a short statement of the laws relating thereto and their working, at present in force in the Dominion.

Prior to Confederation, by the 22 Vict., chapter 41, "An Act respecting the Registration of Inland Vessels," the owners of vessels or steamers plying in the inland waters were empowered to register the same by a measurement defined in that Act. No vessel could leave a port without being registered; without it a clearance could be refused.

Vessels in the Lower Provinces being on the seaboard were all registered under the Imperial Merchant's Shipping Act of 1854. The collectors of customs at the different ports being registrars for that purpose.

In 1859, by 22 Vic. chapter 26, an Act was passed to impose a duty on vessels admitted to registry and the coasting trade in the Province of Upper and Lower Canada, which duty was to be equal to 10 per cent on the value of such vessel. It was passed to enable purchasers of American vessels to make British bottoms of them. The Act went to Great Britain for the Royal assent, but as it interfered with the Merchant's Shipping Act, it was refused.

After the Rebellion a great number of such purchases were made, and it being considered a hardship to those who had purchased not to be able to take out papers, the Government decided that they could be registered under the Imperial Merchants' Shipping Act, either at Montreal or Quebec, the only two ports having registrars. And to facilitate such registrations, measuring surveyors were appointed at the most important ports in Upper Canada, whose duty it was to measure and see to the proper papers being forwarded to the registrars.

It ought to be understood that the owner of any vessel built in inland waters in Upper and Lower Canada could, and can now, elect to register either under the Provincial or Imperial Acts.

In the measurement of the hull of a vessel it would lie one fifth more tons under the Provincial Act than under the Imperial. Therefore a schooner of 100 tons Provincial measurement (provided she had no upper cabins, etc.,) would lie only 80 tons under the Imperial measurement, and by the owner electing such measurement, he would save payment on twenty tons every time such vessel went through the canals.

On the other hand, the measurement of a steamer with upper cabins, etc., under the Imperial Act would increase her tonnage over the Provincial measurement. The Imperial Act requires all closed spaces above decks to be measured. The Provincial Act requires the hull only. Therefore a propeller with 200 tons and upper works of 100 tons capacity, would be registered under the Provincial Act 200 tons only. Under the Imperial Act she would be: hull 200 tons, less one-fifth difference of measurement, 160 tons; upper works, 100 tons, less one-fifth, 80 tons; in all 240 tons, or 40 times (sic - tons ?) more to pay for canal tolls and steamboat inspection fees under the Imperial Act than under the Provincial.

No Registration Act has as yet been passed for the Dominion. It has, I believe, for some time been under the consideration of the government, and I can well understand the difficulties they have to contend with, and which no one can assist them in. There are Imperial Acts and the Law Officers of the Crown to deal with. The title to hundreds of vessels would have to be altered. Every vessel would have to be measured, and the different points where measuring officers and registrars should be appointed to be determined. All of this without a doubt has led to the delay, and made the government weigh well the matter before putting into force so sweeping an amendment; and from all I can ascertain when the Act does come into force it will meet with general approbation.

I cannot conceive what objection can be taken to the 22 Vict., Chapter 42, "An Act for the Encouragement of Ship-building."

By that Act builders may mortgage or hypothecate their vessels as soon as the keel is laid. To make the mortgage complete, it must be registered at the Registration Office of the county or place in which it is built. When finished, if the mortgage is not paid off, the advancer can take out the registration himself. It is no hardship to the builder; he has ample power to protect his rights. In all the hypothecations given no one has heard of any frauds being perpetrated thereby. It is no wrong to the builder to be obliged to give security for monies he has borrowed, and without a doubt this very Act has done more towards the advancement of ship-building in this Province than any other thing. Before the Act persons making advances had no protection; now their money is perfectly secure. And it seems to me that any trouble involved is no more than is required by persons making loans of any description.

Yours, etc.,

Kingston, Dec. 13th, 1872 Nautes

The Harbour - strong winds have broken ice up.

Marine Railway - There are 5 or 6 vessels to be hauled out and overhauled here. The M.L. Breck is now undergoing repairs.

Daily News, Dec. 14, 1872


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Dec. 13, 1872
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 13, 1872