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SANDBERG V. MCDONALD, 248 U. S. 185 (1918)

U.S. Supreme Court

Sandberg v. McDonald, 248 U.S. 185 (1918)

Sandberg v. McDonald

No. 392

Argued November 5, 1918

Decided December 23, 1918

248 U.S. 185


Section 11 of the Seaman's Act of 1915, c. 153, 38 Stat. 1164, prohibits, under criminal penalties, the payment of wages in advance to any seaman; provides that in no case shall such advancements absolve vessel, master, or owner from full payment of wages when actually earned, or be a defense to a libel or action for their recovery; applies "as well to foreign vessels while in waters of the United States, as to vessels of the United States;" makes the master, owner, consignee, or agent of any foreign vessel who violates its provisions liable to the same penalty as if the vessel were domestic; and, requiring exhibition of shipping articles, denies clearance from our ports to any vessel of either class unless the provisions of the section have been complied with. Held not to apply to advancements made to alien seamen shipping abroad on a foreign vessel, pursuant to contracts valid under the foreign law, and that such advancements may be allowed for in paying such seamen in a port of the United States. P. 248 U. S. 195.

A provision in this act for the abrogation of inconsistent treaty provisions is not opposed to the above construction, since it may properly be referred to other parts of the act abolishing arrest for desertion and conferring jurisdiction on our courts over wage controversies arising in our jurisdiction. P. 248 U. S. 196.

The construction here adopted is the same as that adopted by the State Department in consular instructions, and the reports and

Page 248 U. S. 186

proceedings attending the legislation in Congress, so far as they may be considered, do not require a different conclusion. P. 248 U. S. 197.

248 F. 670 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 248 U. S. 190

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