The opinion of the court was delivered by: BYERS
A libel was filed on July 1, 1932, to recover $500.00 with interest and costs, by reason of the alleged unlawful discharge of the libellant on July 1, 1929, as assistant engineer on the steamship San Lucas, formerly the Eastern Knight.
Libellant has presented his cause in person, although the libel was prepared and filed by a proctor.
Articles seventh, eighth and ninth of the libel are as follows:
"Seventh: That on the said 1st day of July, 1929, at the port of New York, libellant was discharged from the services of the said Steamship 'San Lucas' by the Chief Engineer, without fault on his part, justifying such discharge, without his consent, against his will and in violation of the articles aforesaid.
"Eighth: That during the period of time libellant was on board the said vessel, he performed his services in a satisfactory and seamanlike manner and to the best of his ability and obeyed all lawful commands of his superior officers.
"Ninth: That by reason of the said unlawful discharge libellant has lost large sums of money which he otherwise would have earned."
The answer denies these and subsequent articles in the libel; special defenses are alleged, i.e., "payment off" before the Shipping Commissioner, accompanied by statement of no claim, etc.; and the bar of limitation.
The libellant has testified to: signing articles on May 31, 1929, for a 9 months' voyage from a port in the state of Washington; the completion of about one month of that voyage, and arrival at New York on or about June 30, 1929; and notification by the Chief Engineer that libellant would be superseded forthwith.
He has filed a typed statement with the Court, from which the following is quoted:
"I was appointed to the position of First Assistant Engineer of the S/S Eastern Knight by Capt. Heinrici, Marine Superintendent, New York.
"I joined this vessel, as she was then called The Eastern Knight, known now as the San Lucas, in the early part of 1929 (April 5th). The ship was then on a voyage from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast of the United States and returned to pay off on the Pacific Coast of the United States.
"I completed that voyage, namely the Westward Passage, and did pay off in Portland, Oregon, on or about the date of May 8, 1929. We traded in the Columbia River and Puget Sound for about twenty days with no articles. We then signed artices at Long View, Washington, for a voyage from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast of the United States and to pay off in a port on the Pacific Coast of the United States June 1, 1929.
"I made the first half of the succeeding voyage, namely the Eastward passage, of the contract in question before the Court, from the Columbia River to the port of New York. About three days previous to our arriving at New York Captain Johnson told me he wanted to see my time book. I reported to the quarters of the Captain with my time book when he told me that the Chief Engineer had sent a wireless on his own responsibility to the Company's ...