Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Thursday 25 February 1858, page 6
WEDNESDAY, 24th FEBRUARY, 1868.
(Before Messrs. Crawford and Verdon.)
Thomas Calvert, master of the ship Herald, appeared to answer to several charges brought against him for breaches of
the 21st, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 60th, and 73rd sections of the Passengers Act. Mr. Broad, the Immigration Officer, appeared
to prosecute, and Mr. Bead defended Captain Calveit. Under the 21st section it appeared that in two instances the
berths of the passengers were seven inches short of the length required by the Act. Evidence having been adduced in
proof thereof, Mr. Bead stated that the Emigration Officer having passed the ship at Liverpool in the state complained of,
the master of tho ship could no longer be liable under the wording - of that section of the Act.
The Bench, however, decided otherwise, and inflicted upon the master a penally of £5 in each case, £2 10s. to go to each
passenger. Mr. Broad then proceeded to prosecute on the 22nd section of the Act, which provides that single men shall
be berthed in separate apartments, and called the following witnesses :-.
John Savage examined : Was a steerage passenger in the Herald. In his cabin there were six passengers. On account
of the room not being fit to sleep in, he slept on the forecastle. His sister was sleeping in the berth over him. They were
placed in that way. Did not go to take his passage. Cross-examined by Mr. Bead: Never heard that it was at the express
wish of his family that they were all berthed together. His brother-in-law told him he had taken a room for him. Did not
at that time make any objection to the berths. Complained because the water came into his cabin. Slept at an hotel last
night. (The witness here prevaricated most grossly, and said afterwards he slept at his own house.) There were two
rooms in his house-three were in one room, and three in the other. Gave up his berth to his sister for the purpose of
putting in a cooking apparatus. Mr. Bead said that after the statements made by the last witness, he felt assured the
bench would agree with him that there was no case, and said there was no proof that the last passenger was in the same
berth with other people, and even had confessed to sleeping in the same room with his sisters since he had landed. Mr.Broad
said if the passengers had not commenced that system on board they would not have practised it on shore.
James Colt, a steerage passenger, stated that there was a single man in his berth with him, there being no partition
between them. To the Bench: Saw the regulations in the steerage, but he thought it was of no use saying anything after
the ship had sailed. Cross-examined by Mr. Bead : Slept together at Liverpool. No one had been with him since he
left the ship. Duross had told him he had no complaint to make. He had assisted in putting in form the complaints of
the passengers. Did not expect or want to get his money baok. Cannot say whether he saw the Emigration Officer at
Liverpool, but thought he saw him. Can swear that Duross never took out the dividing board. There were no
dividing-boards lying about on the ship. Mr Read stated it was a great pity that Duross was not present, as he
had said there was nothing to complain of. The Bench considered that all they had to deal with was the fact that
two men had been compelled to sleep in one berth. Mr. Bead stated that when it was that proved the Emigration Officer
was on board ship for the purpose of hearing any compliants, it appeared to him that there must have been some
combination on board tho ship to bring forward tho present complaint. He was sorry to say that in the generality
of cases those complaints proceeded entirely fiom Irishmen. He merely looked upon the present case as one in which
the passengers had combined to rob the captain as much as they could. Mr. Broad stated, in answer to Mr. Read, that
he intended to prosecute in every case, and that it would be left the master to proceed against the charteters of the
ship. He then called Hugh Lynch, Thomas Cosgrave, and James M'lvor, who all complained that they had been
compelled to sleep in berths with other men, without any division boord being placed between them. The captain
in each case was ordered to pay a penalty of £5.