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Date: 3 March 1916
At Aberavon Police Court on Monday, Robert Porter, a coloured man, brought an action against Fritz Lleterstorm, the capain [sic] of a Norwegian ship, named the "Europa," for £16 0s. 3d.
Mr. Ewan Davies represented Porter, and Mr. Dan Perkins represented Lleterstorm.
Mr. Davies, in his opening statement, said Porter had been engaged as a cook at £8 per calendar month. He had injured himself on the voyage from Glasgow to Port Talbot, and when he arrived at the latter port he consulted Dr. Phillips, who advised him not to do any heavy work, and to rest his body as much as possible. The captain, however, had quarreled [sic] with him on account of his refusal to do work which he regarded as heavy, and had discharged him, without paying what was due, namely £8 os. 3d. In addition to that he was entitled to claim £8 in lieu of a month's notice.
Porter went into the witness-box, and Mr. Davies was proceeding to examine him regarding the verbal contract between him and Lleterstorm, when Mr[.] Perkins objected, on the ground that he had a written contract, signed by Porter, and that as everything hinged on the provisions set forth in that Mr. Davies was not entitled to put any leading questions regarding any other arrangement.
Mr. Davies, however, held he had, and was endeavouring to put the questions, but Mr. Perkins intervened at every point. The wrangle between the two solicitors was somewhat protracted, and at last Dr. Arnallt Jones (the presiding Magistrate) said that unless they got on with the business the case would be adjourned.
Porter, in reply to Mr. Davies, said he had signed a contract in the Norwegian Consul's office, but he did not know what were its provisions. It was drawn up in Norwegian, and he thought it was just the ordinary formula with which sailors have to comply. Witness was sharp in his replies to Mr. Perkins, and cleverly evaded awkward questions.
Another long wrangle ensued, when Mr. Perkins submitted the written contract. One of its provisions was that in case of any dispute arising the case must be submitted to a Norwegian Court. Mr. Perkins held that the Court had no jurisdiction in the case, and Mr. Davies quoted law books in support of his contention that it had.
Finally, Dr. Jones said that the Norwegian Consul's office was really Norwegian territory, and that Porter had only himself to blame if he signed a contract without fully understanding its provisions. The case was one for the Norwegian Consul. Porter should seek redress there, and if he failed to secure it, then it would be a matter for English Courts to consider.
'Norwegian Territory in Cardiff.' The Glamorgan Gazette. 3 Mar. 1916. 7.

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