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four. A clerk and reporter shall be appointed and counsel Çlerk,
Reporter. for the United States designated as provided in sections four and five of said chapter, each to receive the compen- Compensation. sation therein provided; and the marshal of the United Marshal for States for the District of Columbia, or his deputies, shall lumbia to serve perform the duties prescribed in section six of said chap-process
, etc. ter.
SEC. 3.—That the judges of the court hereby re-estab- w To convene in lished shall convene and organize, in the city of Wash-C. ington, as soon as practicable after their appointment; and the court so organized shall exist two years; and all Term of existclaims provable under this act shall be verified by or in Claims barred behalf of the claimant and filed with the clerk of said in six months. court within six months from its organization, or they 18 Stat., 245. shall be held to be waived and barred.
SEC. 4.—That the practice and proceedings established and directed by said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine shall be followed and had in regard to all claims provable Claims: under this act; and it shall be the duty of the said court hereby re-established, in the mode and subject to all the conditions, limitations, and provisions of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine, except as changed and modified by this act, to receive and examine the claims mentioned in section five of this act and to enter judgments for the amount allowed therefor in two classes.
SEC. 5.-That the first class shall be for claims directly first class. resulting from damage done on the high seas by Confederate cruisers during the late rebellion, including vessels and cargoes attacked on the high seas, although the loss or damage occurred within four miles of the shore, excluding claims which have been proved pursuant to section eleven of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine. The second class shall be for claims for the payment of Second class. premiums for war risks, whether paid to corporations, onActual adosses agents, or individuals, after the sailing of any Confeder- only allowed. ate cruiser. Sec. 6.—That in examining claims in either class it Judgments,
how paid shall be the duty of the court to deduct any sum received by any claimant as an indemnity, dividend, set-off, or otherwise, so that the actual loss of such claimant only shall be allowed.
SEC. 7.—That the judgments rendered by said court under this act shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury out of the sum of money paid to the United States pursuant to article seven of the treaty of Washington, and accruing therefrom, not appropriated to claims proved under the provisions of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine, or any act extending the time for the filing of claims thereunder.
SEC. 8.-That judgments entered in the first class shall . Judgments in be paid before judgments of the second class are paid. priority in pay. If the sum of money so unappropriated shall be insufficient to pay the judgments of the first class, they shall be
17 Stat., 866.
ments and de
paid according to the proportions which they severally bear to the whole amount of such unappropriated sum. If such sum shall be sufficient to pay the judgments of the first class and not sufficient to pay the judgments of the second class, the latter judgments shall be paid according to the proportions which they severally bear to the residue of such unappropriated sum after the judgments entered
in the first class are paid. List of judg Sec. 9.—That the said court, after all its judgments and cisions, etc., to decisions have been rendered, shall transmit to the Secreto Secretary of tary of State a list of such judgments and decisions, statState, Certified copy
ing the class and amount, with interest at four per centum to the Secretary from the time the loss accrued to the thirty-first of March,
eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, a certified copy of which shall be by him transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereafter, as soon as may be, and upon such notice and in such manner as he shall pre
scribe, pay the said judgments out of any money in the Provisos. Treasury not otherwise appropriated: Provided, however,
That such payments shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the preceding sections: And provided further, That the whole amount paid out shall not exceed the amount remaining of the Geneva award and interest, as it was when actually covered into the Treasury. And so much money as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section is hereby appropriated out of any
moneys not otherwise appropriated. Appropriati o n SEC. 10.---That all moneys necessary for the payment of salaries, and for the salaries of the judges and officers authorized by secexpenses. tion two of this act, and for the lawful expenses of the
said court hereby re-established, are hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated; all of which shall be reimbursed out of the said
unappropriated moneys before any of the judgments renSurplus.
dered under this act shall be paid. And after the reimbursement of all the expenses authorized by this act, and the payment of all the judgments rendered thereunder, if there shall remain any part of the said money, te same shall be and remain a fund from which Congress may hereafter authorize payment of other claims thereon.
Approved, June 5, 1882.
[20 Stat. L., p. 240.]
HALIFAX FISHERIES AWARD,
(Extract from An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Govern
ment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879, and for other purposes.] Fisheries award. SEC. 3. That the sum of five and one-half million dol
lars, in gold coin, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and placed under the direction of the President of the United States, with which to pay to the Govern
ment of Her Britannic Majesty the amount awarded by the Fisheries Commission, lately assembled at Halifax, in pursuance of the Treaty of Washington, if, after cor
paid. respondence with the British Government, on the subject of the conformity of the arwards to the requirements of the treaty and to the terms of the question thereby submitted to the Commission, the President shall deem it his duty to make the payment without further communication with Congress.
Approved, June 20, 1878. NOTE.-The Government, after paying the Halifax award, proceeded to distribute what it had left of the Alabama fund. All vessels belonging to loyal Americans that had suffered from Confederate cruisers on the high seas were permitted to come in and prove damages. What was left after their claims were settled was distributed on a ratio of 33 cents to the dollar among those American shipowners who had paid what were called “war premiums” or enhanced ratio of insurance caused by the depreciation of the Alabama and kindred vessels. There was a balance of $1.85 standing to the credit of the Alabama fund on the books of the treasury.
NOTES OF DECISIONS BY THE COURTS.
The Supreme Court held that “the sum awarded by the tribunal of arbitration at Geneva, when paid, constituted a national fund, in which no individual claimant had any right, legal or equitable, and which Congress could distribute as it pleased," but that, "nevertheless there was at all times a moral obligation on the part of the Government to do justice to those who had suffered in property." (Williams v. Heard, 140 U.S. R., 529.)
The Supreme Court in the same case say that a pension claim for disability is not assignable in bankruptcy; that it is "personal and not susceptible of passing by will or by operation of law.”
Where a claim in fact and in law is founded wholly upon statutes (act June 5, 1882; act June 2, 1886, 22 Stat. L., p. 98) which provides for the distribution of a fund acquired by treaty, and the interpretation of the treaty is not in controversy, the court has jurisdiction. (William G. Weld & Co. v. The United States, 23 C. Cls. R., p. 126.)
The act of June 2, 1886 (24 Stat. L., p. 77), requires the accounting officers to state an account, but gives no discretionary power to them which can affect the rights of beneficiaries. (Ibid.)
Under that statute the accounting officers had no authority to charge the expenses of the tribunal of arbitration to the Alabama fund and deduct it from the awards of the claimants. (Ibid.)
There was no stipulation by which the United States agreed how the money or any part of it should be disposed of; nor did they become liable upon an implied assumpsit, growing out of the provisions of the treaty, to distribute the money to any individuals whatever. (Atocha's case, 17 Wallace, p. 439.)
The Supreme Court so held in the Great Western Insurance Company case (19 C. Cls. R., p. 206), and on appeal the Supreme Court said: “The opinion of the learned chief justice [Drake) of the Court of Claims is an able presentation of that view." (112 U. S. R., 193.)
BRITISH AND AMERICAN MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION.
WAR CLAIMS OF ALIENS (OTHER THAN THE ALABAMA CLAIMS).
The number of American British Mixed Commission under the treaty cases presented to the commission. of Washington, between the United States and Great
Britain, concluded and signed at Washington, on the 8th day of May, A. D. 1871. (See Stat. L., vol. 17, pp. 863 and 947, art. 12.)
Four hundred and seventy-eight (478) cases against the United States were presented and tried, and judgment entered within two years from the organization of the commission. Of these, 259 included claims for property taken by the United States forces; 181 for property destroyed by the United States forces; 7 for property destroyed by the rebels; 100 for alleged unlawful arrests or imprisonments; 76 for unlawful capture or condemnation of vessels; 3 for unlawfully warning off vessels; and 34 for other matters.
During and after the late war many claims were presented by representatives of foreign powers for injuries alleged to have been suffered by citizens or subjects of such powers, arising out of acts committed against their persons or property during the war. Especially were such claims presented on behalf of citizens or subjects of Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy.
No recognition has been made of any possible liability for the claims advanced by the representatives of France, Germany, or Italy. But by the treaty known as the treaty of Washington it was agreed that the British claims arising out of such acts committed between April 13, 1861, and April 9, 1865, should be submitted to arbitration. The result of this arbitration is thus described
in the last annual message of the President: The amount
“It was awarded that the Government of the United paid.
States should pay to the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, within twelve months from the date of the award, the sum of $1,929,819 in gold. The commission
disallowed all other claims of British subjects against The a mount the United States. The amount of the claims presented claimed.
by the British Government, but disallowed or dismissed, is understood to be about $93,000,000.”
These proceedings practically worked a preference of this class of British claims over all others. It left unrecognized, and without means provided for adjudicating upon, first, the claims of other governments (as France, Germany, and Italy), and, second, British claims later than April 9, 1865.
It can not be doubted that the United States rightfully exercised acts of war after the 9th of April, 1865. That was the date of Lee's surrender. A state of war continued after that time which rendered necessary many or all of the acts which are complained of, and those acts, when sifted, will probably prove to constitute as
little foundation for claims against the United States as the acts committed within the date named in the Treaty of Washington. (Extract from letter of Hon. Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, to the chairman of the Committee on War Claims, under date of February 27, 1874.)
BRITISH AND AMERICAN CLAIMS COMMISSION,
[17 Stat. L., p. 24.) AN ACT making appropriations for expenses incurred under articles
twelve to seventeen, inclusive, of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain, concluded at Washington, May eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy-one.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the sum of sixty-two thousand two hundred Appropriati od and twenty-five dollars is hereby appropriated, out of Commission; any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to enable the President to fulfil the stipulations of the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and Post, pp. 867seventeenth articles of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain, signed on the eighth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy-one, in relation to the United States and British claims commission.
SEC. 2. That the sum hereby appropriated, or so much how to be ex. thereof as may be necessary, shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of State, with the approval of the President.
Approved, December 21, 1871.
[17 Stat. L., p. 24.) AN ACT making appropriations for expenses that may be incurred
under articles one to nine, inclusive, of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain, concluded at Washington, May eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy-one.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand Appropriation dollars is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the bitration at Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to enable the Presi- Geneva; dent to fulfil the stipulations contained in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth articles of the treaty between the United States and post, pp. 863Great Britain, signed on the eighth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy-one, in relation to the tribunal of arbitration at Geneva. SEC. 2. That the sum hereby appropriated, or so much how to be ex.
. thereof as may be necessary, shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of State, with the approval of the President of the United States.
Approved, December 21, 1871.