1916.03.06.De Worms et Cie Newcastle

Newcastle on Tyne

March 6th 1916
Messrs. Worms & Co - Paris

Dear Sirs,
S/S "Camille". Our Solicitors now report that they have had a consultation with Messrs. Botterell Roche & Temperley, Solicitors of the Owners Protecting Society, and after giving the matter their careful consideration our Solicitors are of the opinion that the position the Owners take up is the correct one, and if possible an endeavour should be made to compromise.
Our Solicitors contend that "High water" according to the reading of the Charter would not be regarded in the English Courts as only meaning the time at which the tide was at its height, but any time during that particular tide at which the port, docks or berth were available in the ordinary manner for the vessel to proceed to.
We mention ordinary manner as in some ports a special "Look in" can be obtained after the docks have been closed, and in such a case vessel's time would only count from next high water when the dock gates were opened in the ordinary manner for vessel to enter.
Further our Solicitors point out that they think if the Clause had intended to fix a definite time of the boat's readiness the word "scheduled" should have been used, making the reading "scheduled high water". We may add that we put the matter before one of our Nautical Assessors, and he confirms the opinion of our Solicitors.
We are sorry that the opinion of the meaning of the Clause in this case should he against us; we have always argued that the intention of the Clause was that if a vessel had not arrived at or before the time of official high water, then the discharging time only commences at the next high water, in this respect however, we can now see the weakness of the Clause from our standpoint, which leaves the question open to dispute.
Both Solicitors consider the question a most interesting one, and Messrs. Botterel Roche & Temperley would like to have a decision given by the Court, although they mentioned to our Solicitors that if their Clients were agreeable, they would endeavour to get Owners to agree to a compromise.
We shall be glad to have your instructions in the matter.
We are, Dear Sirs,
Yours truly,

R. Chambers

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