The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 1,001
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trial questions, and not questions of pleading. The facts, however, are
undisputed, and the case as presented is in reality a case stated, asking
the opinion of the court upon the admitted facts. The practical ad-
vantages of thus disposing of the case are manifest. Both parties have
joined in the request that the court dispose of it on this motion. Be-
cause of the practical situation, and of this request, we are willing to
One result of the discussion at bar was to reduce the number of all
the questions involved to one, with the possibility of a subquestion.
The one question referred to arises out of a provision of a charter party.
 As part of the atmosphere of the case, and for the purpose of
shortening the discussion of the legal merits of the question, a statement
of certain facts may be premised. It is usual (evidenced by the fact
of the existence of printed blank forms) for charter parties to provide
for the cost of carriage and then allow a rebate from the charge in
the guise of a commission to the charterer. Presence of a cesser clause
is also frequently to be found in them. It is further usual, and indeed
practically necessary, particularly in foreign ports, that some one fa-
miliar with it should look after the ship's business while in port. The
person who takes this responsibility is by a custom, which is world-
wide, entitled to receive what is in effect a retainer, known as an at-
tendance fee. Expressed in terms of moneys of the United States, this
sum is $50. VWe have called it a retainer, because it is paid, whether
the person is called upon to perform any actual service or not. The
service which he may be called upon to perform can never, of course,
be fully anticipated.
Some kinds of service are so usual and customary that they have a
place in the printed forms of statements of settlements, and are set
forth in charter parties. The share of compensation for some kinds of
service it is possible to fix in advance, because such service is always
of the same kind and character. It is practically impossible to fix be-
forehand other kinds of service rendered. It is the practice to leave
this to such rate of compensation as is usual and customary. The
rebate to which we refer is usually measured by a percentage, or, as
it is called, a commission, on the sum which is finally collected for
freight, dead freight, and demurrage. It has because of this become
usual to provide in charter parties that the agents of the charterer
shall attend to the ship's business. As before stated, it is unknown
just what he may do, and, for the reasons before stated, the share of
his compensation cannot be otherwise fixed (with some exceptions)
than by a reference to what is usual and customary.
It is stipulated in the charter party that a rebate of 21/ per cent.
shall be allowed to the charterer It is further stipulated that the agents
of the charterer were to attend to the ship's business. It was further
provided that this employment should be on the "customary terms."
In addition to freight, and possible dead freight, demurrage was pay-
able to the ship. The respondents were the persons who looked after
the ship's business at this port. The freight was collected by some
one in London. The demurrage, at the instance and on the request
of the master of the ship, was collected here by the respondents. When
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/1016/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.