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extracted from July 1849 Colonization Circular No. 9, p2. 22-24

Abstract of the New Passenger Act, 12 and 13 Vic. cap. 33, as regards to voyages to North America

1.   The Act, which comes into operation on the 1st October, 1849, applies equally to foreign as to British vessels, except such parts thereof as relate to the rules to be prescribed by Orders in Council for preserving order and for securing cleanliness and ventilation on board, which rules are binding only in ships proceeding to the British Colonies.
2.   A marked distinction is made between "passenger ships," which are defined to be vessels carrying not more than one passenger to every 25 tons of the ships's registered tonnage, and ships carrying less than that number of passengers. To the former all the provisions of the Act apply ; to the latter only 6 clauses, viz., the 8, 12, 13, 32, 33 and 35, which require that facilities of inspection shall be afforded to emigration officers ; that lists of passengers (however few) shall be delivered to the custom-house officers ; the passage-money shall be returned, with compensation, if passages are not provided according to contract ; that subsistence money shall be paid to passengers in case of delay in sailing ; and that passengers shall not be landed at the wrong place.
3.   The duties imposed by the Act on the emigration officers are to be performed in their absence by their assistants, if any ; and at ports where there are no such officers, by the chief officer of customs.—Sec. 7
4.   For the purposes of the Act the voyage to North America is to be computed at 10 weeks.—Sec. 20
5.   Parties contracting to provide emigrants with passages to North America are bound to give contract tickets in the form prescribed by the Act, containing an acknowledgement for the money received, under a penalty not exceeding £10, and the forfeiture of his license in the case of a passage broker.—Sec. 47
6.   Any persons fraudulently altering after issue contract tickets, or inducing passengers to part with or destroy them during the existence of the contract, are liable to a penalty not exceeding 5 in each case.—Sec. 48
7.   Facilities for inspecting all ships either fitting for or carrying passengers are to be afforded to the proper officers at home and abroad.—Sec. 8
8.   No passenger ship is to be cleared out without first obtaining from the emigration or custom-house officer, as the case may be, a certificate that the requirements of the Act have been complied with.—Sec. 9
9.   No vessel is to carry more than one person (including the master, crew, and cabin passengers) to every two tons of her registered tonnage, nor, whatever may be the tonnage, more than one passenger to every 12 clear superficial feet of the deck on which the passengers are carried. The only decks on which passengers can lawfully be carried are the main deck, and the deck immediately below it, but not on an orlop deck. The master is liable to a penalty not exceeding £5 for each person or passenger in excess.—Sec. 10
10.   For all purposes of the Act two children between the ages of 1 and 14 are to count as one person or one passenger, as the case may require ; unless a surgeon be not carried, when, as regards the space of the deck, each child counts as one passenger. Children under one year are in no case to be reckoned.—Secs. 11 and 27
11.   The master of every ship before clearance must sign and deliver to the officer of customs at the port a list in duplicate of his passengers in the form prescribed by the Act, and if after clearance he embarks other passengers, lists of these are also to be delivered to the chief officer of customs at the place of embarkation, or if no such officer be there, then to the officer at the first port at which the ship touches. These lists are ultimately to be deposited with the chief officer of customs or Her Majesty's Consul at the final port of discharge.—Secs. 12 and 13
12.   No "passenger ship" is to clear out until surveyed by one or more competent surveyors approved either by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners or by the Commissioners of Customs, as the case may be, and reported seaworthy and fit in all respects for the voyage.—Sec. 14
13   The decks on which passengers are carried are not to be less than 1 inch in thickness, and to be properly secured to and supported by beams of adequate strength, forming part of the permanent structure of the vessel. The height between decks is not to be less than 6 feet. Not more than two tiers of berths are allowed on any deck, and the bottom of the lower tier must be at least 6 inches above the deck. The berths are to be securely constructed, and not to be of less dimensions than after the rate of 6 feet in length by 18 inches in width for each passenger. Persons of different sexes, not being husband and wife, are not to be placed in the same berth ; and no berths are to be taken down for 48 hours after the arrival of the ship at her destination, unless all the passengers shall within that time have voluntarily quitted her.—Sec. 15
14.   In passenger ships, passengers are to have the free use of each hatchway, situated over the space appropriated to them, and if they have not the use of the main hatchway, or if the natural supply of light and air through it be unduly impeded, such other provision for light and ventilation between decks must be made as the emigration officer may direct. Every ship carrying as many as 100 passengers must, at all events, be provided with adequate and proper ventilating apparatus to be approved by the emigration officer.—Sec. 16
15.   Suitable and seaworthy boats are to be taken according to the tonnage of the ship and the number of passengers, on the following scale, viz. :—
For a ship of 100 to 200 tons 2 boats
For a ship of 200 to 500 tons (if the passengers exceed 50) 3 boats
For a ship of 500 and upwards (if the passengers exceed 200) 4 boats
    One of the boats must be a long boat and another a properly fitted life boat. There must also be two properly fitted life bouys kept ready for immediate use.—Sec. 17
16.   No ship is to clear out until manned with a proper complement of seamen.—Sec. 18
17.   No gunpowder, vitriol, guano, green hides, or other article likely to endanger the safety of the ship or the health of the passengers, is to be taken as cargo, and no part of the cargo is to be carried on deck.—Sec. 19
18.   The food and water for the passengers are to be provided and put on board at the expense of the owner or the charterer of the ship, and to be approved by the emigration officer.—Sec. 21
19.   In addition to any provisions which the passengers may themselves bring, the following quantities at least of pure water and wholesome provisions must be supplied to each passenger by the master during the voyage, including the time of detention at any place :—
3 quarts of water daily per week.
To be issued in advance, and not less often than twice-a-week.
2 of bread or biscuit (not inferior to navy biscuit)
1 lb. wheaten flour
5 lbs. oatmeal
2 lbs. rice
2 ozs. tea
lb. sugar
lb. molasses
    5 lbs. of good potatoes may at the option of the master be substituted for 1 lb. of oatmeal or rice, and in ships sailing from Liverpool, or from Irish or Scotch ports, oatmeal may be substituted in equal quantities for the whole or any part of the issues of rice. The Emigration Commissioners, with the authority of the Secretary of State, may substitute other articles of food.—Secs. 24 and 25
20.   Vessels carrying as many as 100 passengers must be provided with a seafaring person to act as passengers' cook, and also with a proper cooking apparatus. A convenient place must be set apart on deck for cooking, and a proper supply of fuel shipped for the voyage. The whole to be subject to the approval of the emigration officer.—Sec. 26
21.   In vessels to North America, having on board as many as 100 persons, exclusive of the master, crew, and cabin passengers, there must be a duly authorized medical practitioner, whose name shall have been notified to the emigration officer at the port of clearance, and not objected to by him ; or if such practitioner be not carried, 14 instead of 12 superficial feet are to be allowed for every passenger on board, reckoning for this purpose each child above a year old as one passenger.—Sec. 27
22.   A supply of medicines, disinfecting fluid, instruments, &c., sufficient for the voyage, in the opinion of the Emigration Officer, with printed or written directions for use, are to be put on board at the expense of the owner or charterer of the ship, and to be placed under the charge of the surgeon, when there is one, to be used at his discretion.—Sec. 28
23.   No passenger-ship is to proceed until a medical practitioner to be appointed by the Emigration Officer, shall have inspected the medicine-chest and passengers, and certified that the medicines, &c., are sufficient, and that the passengers are free from infectious disease. If no medical man can be obtained to perform this duty, the vessel may sail on obtaining from the Emigration Officer a written permission for the purpose.—Sec. 29
24.   All persons who may be discovered to be affected with any infectious disease, either at the original port of embarkation or at any port in the United Kingdom into which the vessel may subsequently put, are to be re-landed, with those members of their families, if any, who may be dependent on them, or unwilling to be separated from them, together with their clothes and effects. Passengers re-landed are entitled to receive back their passage-money, which may be recovered from the party to whom it was paid, or from the owner, charterer, or master of the ship, by summary process, before two or more justices of the peace.—Sec. 30 and 31
25.   Any persons failing to obtain a passage in the terms of their contract are entitled, if the failure arises from the previous departure of, or want of room in the ship, or from any default of the contractor, owner, charterer, or master of the vessel, to be provided, together with all the immediate members of their family, with a passage within 48 hours by some equally eligible vessel to the same place, and in the meantime to be paid subsistence-money at the rate of 1s. (one shilling) per day for each passenger. In case the failure arises from wreck or any other accident or default after the voyage has actually begun, the passengers in like manner are entitled within six weeks at farthest to a passage in some eligible vessel, and in the meantime to be maintained by the master. In default of this, in either case, the passengers can recover from the contractor, or from the owner, charterer, or master of the ship any passage-money they may have paid, together with compensation, limited to £5, in case the non-fulfilment of the contract arises from any accident or default after the voyage has begun, and in other cases to £10.—Secs. 32 and 34
26.   If the ship does not sail on the day named in the contract ticket, and the passengers are ready to embark, they are entitiled to recover from the owner, charterer, or master of the ship, subsistence-money after the rate of 1s. per day for each passenger. But if the ship be unavoidably detained by wind or weather, and the passengers be maintained on board in the same manner as if the voyage had commenced, no subsistence-money is payable.—Sec. 33
27.   Passengers are not to be landed against their consent at any place other than the one contracted for, and they are entitled to sleep and to be maintained on board for 48 hours after arrival, unless the ship in the prosecution of her voyage quits the port sooner.—Secs. 35 and 36
28.   Ships detained in port after clearance more than seven days, or putting into any port in the United Kingdom, must, under a penalty not exceeding £100, replenish their provisions, water, and medical stores before they can be allowed to proceed on their voyage. Masters of passengers ships putting back must, under a penalty not exceeding 10, within twenty-four hours report their arrival, and the cause for putting back, and the condition of the ships stores to the emigration officer, and produce the official list of passengers.—Sec. 58 [sic ..Sec. 38]
29.   Such regulations as may be prescribed by Order of the Queen in Council are to be enforced by the surgeon, aided and assisted by the master, or in the absence of a surgeon, by the master. Any person neglecting or refusing to obey them will be liable to a penalty of £2 ; and any person obstructing the master or surgeon in the execution of any duty imposed on him by the Order in Council, will be liable to the same penalty, and moreover, to one month's imprisonment at the end of the voyage.—Sec. 39 and 40
30.   The sale of spirits on board to the passengers is prohibited under a penalty not exceeding £20.—Sec. 42
31.   Two copies of the Act, with such abstracts of it, and of any Order in Council relating thereto, as the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners may prepare, are to be delivered to the master, who is bound, under a penalty not exceeding 40s. per diem, to post up previous to the embarkation of the passengers, and to keep posted up in at least two conspicuous places between the decks, such copies of such abstracts so long as any passengers are entitled to remain on board. Any person displacing or defacing this abstract is liable to a penalty not exceeding 40s.—Sec. 41
32.   The requirements of the Act are enforced by penalties on the master not exceeding 50, except in cases where other penalties are specifically imposed. All penalties are to be sued for before two or more justices of the peace, to the use of Her Majesty. They can only be recovered in the United Kingdom by the emigration officers, or by the officers of Her Majesty's Customs ; and in the British possessions abroad, by those officers, or by any other persons duly authorized for the purpose by the Governor of the colony.—Secs. 50 and 52
33.   Passengers themselves, however, or the emigration officers on their behalf, may recover, by a similar process, any sum of money made recoverable by the Act, to their own use, as return of passage money, subsistence money, or compensation ; and, in such cases, the passengers are not to be deemed incompetent witnesses.—Secs. 53 and 56
34.   The right of passengers to proceed at law for any breach of contract is not abridged by proceedings taken under this Act.—Sec. 37
    By order of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners,
    S. WALCOTT, Secretary.


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