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tion, and will obscure instead of clearing the issue. It is further to be remarked that a demise of the description mentioned by Lord Chief Justice Cockburn,1 namely, a letting of the ship, to which the services of the master and crew may be superadded, with the consequence that the charterer becomes for the time the owner of the vessel, and the master and crew become to all intents and purposes his servants, although a possible form of contract, seems, as a matter of business, to have no existence at the present day. Instances have been cited, under the head of locatio navis, where the owner is not the employer of the master and crew ; there are other cases where a ship is let with some of the crew, who remain the servants of the owner, while some, who have been appointed by the charterer, are his servants, but there does not seem to be any case since Newberry v. Colvin in which an owner has let a ship with the services of a master and crew superadded, who have then, to all intents and purposes, become the charterer's servants. In this class, since Sandeman v. Scurr1 and The St. Cloud, the question whether there has been a demise seems to have been invariably answered in the negative, while, before those decisions, a charter-party which let a ship, together with the services of her master and crew, was often held to amount to a demise; but, as appears by the review of the earlier cases in


1 See Sandeman v. Seurr, L. R. 2 Q. B. 86.

27 Bing. 190.

31 Asp. Mar. L. C. N. S. 309,



M'Kellar, the crew and, with exception of a very small portion of his functions, the master remained in the service of the shipowner."

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By 51 and 55 Vict. c. 39, s. 49 (2), "the duty Stamp on upon a charter-party may be denoted by an adhesive stamp, which is to be cancelled by the person by whom the instrument is last executed, or by whose execution it is completed as a binding contract.' Lord Hannen expressed his opinion that a like section in the Act of 1870 3 did not relate to instruments executed abroad, but to those executed in this country only. His Lordship said :-"It seems to me that it was never intended that in the case of charter-parties executed abroad, the parties should have adhesive stamps with them." And by sec. 8 cl. 1., the cancellation is to be made by the person required by law to cancel the adhesive stamp writing on or across the stamp his name or initials, or the name or initials of his firm, together with the true date of his so writing, or otherwise effectually cancels the stamp and renders the same incapable of being used for any other instrument. As a general rule it lies upon the party objecting to secondary evidence of the contents of a lost document, on the ground of the want of a stamp, to show that it was not stamped. If it be shewn that at one time it was unstamped, that by itself will raise the presumption that it

126 L. J. Q. B. 281.

2 Abbott on Sh. p. 66. 333 & 31 Vict. c. 97, s. 66.

The Belfort, L. R. 9 P. D. 215; 53 L. J. Ad. 88.

continued without a stamp. Lord Ellenborough so ruled in Crisp v. Anderson,' and this was confirmed by Pooley v. Goodwin and by Sir J. Wigram in Hart v. Hart.3 In Crowther v. Solomons,1 Williams, J. expressed himself strongly to the same effect, and the rest of the court said nothing to the contrary, but considered that in that case Wilde, C. J. was justified in assuming that a document shewn to have been unstamped when executed continued in the same state.5

In an action on a charter-party against the charterer, a copy of the charter signed by or on his behalf, though that copy is signed by the shipowner, is a copy, and admissible unstamped, notwithstanding 5 & 6 Vict. c. 79, if there is any evidence that the original was stamped.

It is for the objector to a copy of a charter-party, on the ground that the original was not stamped (under 5 and 6 Vict. c. 79, must), to make out that fact; at all events, very slight evidence to the contrary will be sufficient to rebut the objection, and a memorandum on the charter, "the brokers hold the original stamped," is sufficient."

And in Braythwaite v. Hitchcock' it was held that an unstamped copy of a deed was admissible to refresh a witness' memory.

By section 50, where a charter-party is first executed out of the United Kingdom without being

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duly stamped, any party thereto may, within ten days after it has been first received in the United Kingdom and before it has been executed by any person in the United Kingdom, affix thereto an adhesive stamp denoting the duty chargeable thereon and at the same time cancel such adhesive stamp, and the instrument when so stamped, shall be deemed duly stamped. It has been held that a similar section applied to an instrument executed first by a person abroad, and then by a person in this country, and not to an instrument wholly executed abroad. 1

By section 51, a charter-party may be stamped with an impressed stamp after execution upon the following terms, that is to say:-—

(1.) Within seven days after the first execution thereof, on payment of the duty and a penalty of four shillings and six pence;

(2.) After seven days, but within one month after the first execution thereof, on payment of the duty and a penalty of 107.;

And shall not in any other case be stamped with an impressed stamp. Lord Hannen and Sir Chas. Butt have held that a similar section did not govern an instrument wholly executed abroad, but that such a charter-party came within proviso (a) of section 15 (2) of the Act of 1870, which is similar to section 15 (3) (a) of 51 and 55 Vict. c. 39, which enacts:-" Any unstamped or insufficiently stamped

The Belfort, L. R. 9 P. D. 215; 53 L. J. Ad. 88.

Principles affecting the

the Charter



instrument, which has been first executed
any place out of the United Kingdom, may be
stamped at any time within thirty days after it
has been first received in the United Kingdom
on payment of the unpaid duty only."

By Sch. 1-A charter-party requires a six-penny stamp.

By Act 1 of 1879 (Indian Legislative Council) Sch. 1, Art. 18, a charter-party requires a stamp of one rupee.

The object and subject matter of the charterconstruction of party is to determine the contract between the shipowner and the shipper of goods as to the delivery of the goods on board the ship, the carriage of them from one place to another, and their delivery at the end of the voyage. The charter-party regulates the terms of the contract on these matters, and it necessarily, therefore, deals with the time, place, manner of the loading of the ship, the length of the carrying voyage, and with the terms as to the time and mode of discharging the ship of her


An universal rule of law for the interpretation of charter-parties cannot be laid down.3

The duty of construing the contract, lies upon the judge of the court, not upon the jury. A jury may be called upon to decide as to the meaning of technical expressions, or of a word or phrase which

The Belfort, L. R. 9 P. D. 215; 53 L. J. Ad. 88.

2 Tharsis Sulphur Co. v. Morel Bros., L. R. (1891) 2 Q. B. 617; 7 Asp. M. L. C. 106.

Burton v. English, L. R. 12 Q. B. D. 222; 53 L. J. Q. B. 136.

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