1916.12.01.De James Burness and Sons.Londres

Le PDF est consultable à la fin du texte.  

James Burness & Sons
London and 3, Bute Crescent, Cardiff
138, Leadenhall Street

London, 1st December 1916
Messrs Worms & C° - Paris

Dear Sirs,
Marseilles. When speaking to you this morning we were able to give you shortly the result of our interviews with the Board of Trade and Admiralty last night.
Mr. Hipwood, the Assistant Secretary of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade, to whom we handed the letter a copy of which we sent you last evening, admitted to us the break-down of the Limitation scheme in its present form owing of course to the loss of numerous steamers by submarine & the consequent increase in the War Risk insurance and he fully realised the seriousness of your position at Marseilles having regard to your commitments to the P & O Co. in particular and the other steamers requiring bunkers there.
We told Mr. Hipwood you were somewhat contemplating taking up boats on time charter if this could be allowed when he said it would be difficult for him to give you permission today to take up neutral boats on time charter but if you had to do so it would require to be done not through but on the same lines as Messrs Furness, Withy & Co. are now time chartering boats. We told him we thought perhaps you would be prepared to take up boats and to agree to bring home cargoes of ore which quite seemed to please him. The impression Mr. Hipwood gave us was that if we went to him on your behalf to ask permission to take up boats on time charter it would not be refused.
We mentioned to Mr. Hipwood that we were going to the Admiralty to put the position before them when he said that perhaps they might be able to give you a boat or two and in any case we were to inform them of what he had just told us.
At the Admiralty we were informed that they had no boats to give you so we mentioned what had taken place at the interview we had just had with Mr. Hipwood. We asked whether, in view of the fact that boats were being directed by the Admiralty to proceed to Australia, some such steamer could not be released to load for Marseilles instead of Port Said, mentioning that the deviation was not a serious one; however we were told that from an economic point of view it was better such a steamer should take the coal as far East as possible, viz. Port Said, but they admitted that if there were no orders for Port Said in the market then another port, such as Marseilles or the Italian ports, might receive consideration. We pressed them a little in view of the fact that your stocks would be exhausted about the end of December which gave you very little time to get a cargo or two to Marseilles by sayd the 20th/25th inst. and we said we hoped they would endeavour to give you one or two boats to allow time to go further into the proposal to take up boats on time charter. We were told that whereas they could release a boat to go to Marseilles it was not within their powers to direct the Owner to fix the steamer with anyone in particular but they asked to have in writing the particulars of your position for use in case of need when we promised to send them a copy of the letter we had just handed to the Board of Trade; this we are doing this evening.
We have since seen Messrs Furness, Withy & Co. who tell us they are time chartering these boats for account of the British Government and on the outward voyages they are handed to the French or Italian Committees for allocation amongst the outward shippers; on the homeward voyages they load ore for the Ministry of Munitions. They enquired whether you would be willing to take over some of the boats which they had on time charter when we asked for & obtained a charter of one of the boats taken by them and we now enclose a copy of that per ss "Gratangen". We mentioned to you roughly the terms and that the war risk premium on the hull at the valuation of the steamer exceeding 1% per month has to be for charterers' account. You told us you would not agree to this in as much as if the steamer were lost you did not wish to have trouble with the Owner in connection with the collection of the insurance but you were quite willing that the Owner should cover the steamer and debit you with the premium thereon. Messrs Furness, Withy & Co. since tell us that in as much as the Owner has to do the insurance with the Government the matter is arranged in this way.
We further mentioned that Messrs Furness, Withy & Co. have a 3.750 tonner, ready Monday/Tuesday next, and we pressed them for an offer of this or any other steamer for the outward voyage only which however they told us they could not give so we then asked for the offer of the boat on their best possible terras in order that you might keep your Depot at Marseilles supplied and to give us a little further time to communicate with you to explain the position, to you more fully. They promised to go into this.
we have also spoken to Mr. J. S. Pyman, the late Owner of the ss "Abaris", who we now find has gone to the French Commission, to ask him whether in the event of the Admiralty releasing a boat for Marseilles he can arrange that she should be offered to you, Mr. Pyman seemed to think this might be possible and it is our intention to go to see him this afternoon and in case of need to ring up our Admiralty from there to endeavour to get them to release a boat.
We are, dear Sirs,
Yours truly,

James Burness & Sons

Retour aux archives de 1916