NAVIGATION AND SHIPPING MEMBERS OF SHIPOWNER'S STAFF AND THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN TRAVELLING AT NOMINAL RATE: WHETHER PASSENGERS
NAVIGATION ACT 1912, s. 6
The Comptroller-General of Customs has forwarded me the following memorandum for advice:
With reference to the Solicitor-General's opinion of 11.6.21(1), on the question as to whether persons travelling free should be regarded as passengers within the meaning of the Navigation Act, the following questions have been submitted by the Orient Line of Royal Mail Steamers and are referred for favour of advice:
Under the clauses of the Act which come into force on 1 July 1921, is it permissible-
- for members of the Orient Company's permanent staff to travel in the steamers on the coast, paying a nominal victualling rate?
- may they be accompanied by their wives and children under the same conditions?
If the foregoing is not possible under the Act, is it permissible-
- for members of the permanent staff to travel on the coast free of any charge?
- may they be accompanied by their wives and children?
Under the definitions in the Act 'owner' includes a manager or secretary of any company. Does this include the General Manager in Australia and the Branch Managers in Australia of a company registered in London? If so, would 'family or servants' of Australian managers be excluded from the meaning of 'passenger' in the same way as 'family or servants' of 'owners'?
(2) As it is desired by the West Australian Branch Manager of the Company to travel to Melbourne in a vessel of the Company's fleet, leaving Fremantle about the end of the present week, the favour of early advice is requested.
The members of the staff of the Orient Company are the servants of the shipowner and such persons, carried without payment of the regular fare are in my opinion within the exception. The wives and children of the members of the staff whether carried free or not must in my opinion be regarded as passengers as the word 'family', used in the definition, relates to the family of the shipowner.
The General Manager in Australia and the Branch Managers in Australia of a company registered in London, are, I think, covered by the definition of 'owner'. Consequently they and their families are within the exception in the definition of 'passenger'.
[Vol. 17, p. 386]
(1)Opinion no. 1080.