196. Entry of offences in official logs.-
If any offence within the meaning of this Act of desertion or absence without leave or against discipline is committed, or if any act of misconduct is committed for which the offender's agreement imposes a fine, and it is intended to enforce the fine,-
(a) an entry of the offence or act shall be made in the official log book and signed by the master, the mate and one of the crew; and
(b) the offender, if still in the ship, shall, before the next subsequent arrival of the ship at any, port, or, if she is at the time in port, before her departure therefrom, be furnished with a copy of the entry and have the same read over distinctly and audibly to him and may thereupon make such reply thereto as he thinks fit; and
(c) a statement of a copy of the entry having been so furnished and the entry having been so read over and the reply, if any, made by the offender shall likewise be entered and signed in manner aforesaid; and
(d) in any subsequent legal proceedings the entries by this section required shall, if practicable, be produced or proved, and, in default of such production or proof, the court hearing the case may in its discretion, refuse to receive evidence of the offence or act of misconduct.