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Frankly, gentlemen, I am not in a position to say whether it is a meritorious provision or not. But on the face of it, I think it should be handled in a different way, that is, in the same way that any other exception should be handled.

If there are any questions, gentlemen, I would be glad to answer them.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions, gentlemen?
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Allen.

Mr. ALLEN. Would you care to express an opinion as to what types of regulations, other than those which are involved in the international rules, the President might proclaim if he were so minded, under the authority given in the first sentence of this act?

Mr. McELHINNEY. I do not think there is any limit to the type of rules and regulations with respect to the navigation and prevention of collisions at sea that he may be able to make. I do not believe there is any limit whatever.

Mr. ALLEN. I tried yesterday to suggest the types that came to my mind, such as the regulation with regard to the size of the crews or the regulation with regard to the power necessary to be carried by a vessel of a certain size, or possibly some alterations of construction could better handle the facility.

In your opinion would any of those regulations if proclaimed come within the authority of this bill?

Mr. McELHINNEY. I am afraid they would, sir, because they might well be deemed to be rules or regulations which would prevent collisions at sea. For example, the number of members of a crew might well be considered as a means of preventing collisions at sea.

If the ship was undermanned it might very well be prone to come. into collision with another vessel. For that reason I would say that that would fall within the broad general powers that are given to the President under this bill.

Mr. ALLEN. Going to the subject of the exception which we might provide in the bill, would you agree with the opinion expressed yesterday, as I understood it, that if we had such an exception in this bill and one of our vessels came in collision with a foreign vessel while blacked out and were liable in a foreign port, would the foreign power apply our law to the case in determining whether our vessel was negligent, or the international rules without the benefit of the exception?

Mr. McELHINNEY. I believe if the suit were brought in the court of the ship under whose flag it was sailing that it would probably hold that the international rules applied because no nation has the right to regulate the manner in which a vessel shall pass on the high seas that will have any effect on any other ships than its own, unless those rules are approved by the other nations.

It would be my offhand opinion, sir, that if that suit were brought in the court of the country under whose flag that neutral ship sailed, that it would hold that the international rules of the road would prevail and hold the blacked-out ship at fault.

If it were brought in the United States then the United States court would hold that our rules prevailed and the foreign ship would not be able to recover. That is my opinion.

Mr. ALLEN. Thank you.
Mr. BENNETT. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bennett.

Mr. BENNETT. Who do you suppose would actually draw the rules if we had any rules drawn under this legislation which we are asked to pass on here?

Mr. McELHINNEY. I believe frankly that the President would delegate that duty to the Coast Guard. I think that the Coast Guard would draw up the rules. But, you see, it does not take care of the securing of the approval of the foreign nations.

Mind you, in saying that we think these powers are too broad, we do not mean to charge in any way that the President would not do the right thing. It is simply that there is that grave possibility that something might occur which would not in our opinion" be proper.

For example, we can conceive of the case of some emergency provision being thought of by some department of the Government and a representative of that department coming to see the President and explaining to him the necessity for taking action and for taking it very quickly.

He might prevail upon the President and convince the President that such action should be taken and the President might proclaim a rule immediately. And immediately there would be conflict with the established rules of the other nations. That is the danger that we should avoid.

I am not saying it is a probable event; I am saying it is a possible event. But there is no need

of allowing any such situation as that to exist.

Mr. BENNETT. As a matter of government, Members of Congres3 are subject to heavy scrutiny every 2 years and therefore there is more difficulty in any bad element infiltrating into the ranks of Congress than there might be in some bureau where they might be drawing rules and regulations.

Mr. McELHINNEY. That might be so, sir.

Mr. BENNETT. If I may say so I do not think there is much prospect of anybody on this committee favoring the type of legislation we have here.

If it is possible I would like to get an opinion from this witness and any other witness that we have as to the merits of the specific regulations which are proposed to be enacted into legislation by Congress if this exact bill does not pass, because it would seem to be a pity to have these same people come back again and testify whether they like the rules or not which are being contemplated as the fundamental base of this legislation.

Have you any opinion that you could give us as to the merits of the international rules? Have you made a study of them?

Mr. McELHINNEY. Yes, sir. I was one of the committee that did study them. It is my opinion that they should be approved.

As I said before, I do not think we will have any danger of calling the same people before the committee in the event that a ew bill is suggested along the lines of former bills-that is, taking the rules and regulations bodily into our laws-because there is no real objection to those rules.

As I understand it from that meeting that was called by the Coast Guard, all the shipping interests of the country are in favor of it.

Mr. BENNETT. Anybody you speak for is in favor of these rules?

Mr. McELHINNEY. Yes, sir. That is the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

And it could be found by conferring with the Coast Guard representatives just what happened at their own meeting at which so many men were present.

But as I say, it is my recollection that we were all pretty much in agreement that the rules were all right and should be adopted. Mr. BENNETT. Thank you. The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions, gentlemen? (No response.) The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. McElhinney. Mr. McELHINNEY. Thank you, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bailey.

STATEMENT OF FRAZER A. BAILEY, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL

FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SHIPPING, INC. Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Frazer A. Bailey. I am president of the National Federation of American Shipping, Inc. I have a very brief statement to make and I am pleased at that because the statement made by the preceding witness in very general terms states our position fairly accurately.

I am appearing in connection with H. R. 3670, to authorize the President to proclaim regulations for preventing collisions at sea. I shall in my remarks this morning confine them to the shipping provisions because we are not qualified to speak on the aviation section of the bill.

As the owners of shipping property, and therefore the real party with property at hazard and risk, we are obviously deeply concerned about any phase of safety in navigation and prevention of collisions at sea.

An International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea was held in London in 1948, and a convention drafted which was ratified by the United States Senate on April 30, 1949. This conference also revised existing international regulations for prevention of collisions at sea but did not annex them to the International Safety at Sea Convention.

Instead, the conference invited the United Kingdom to forward such new regulations to the other governments which had accepted the existing collision regulations and invited the Government of the United Kingdom, when substantial unanimity has been reached as to the acceptance of such collision regulations, to fix a date on and after which they shall be applied by the government so accepting them. The United Kingdom Government was requested to give not less than 1 year's notice of such effective date.

We understand the original purpose-this is our understanding, sir, of the circumstances—the original purpose of the proposed bill which led to H. R. 3670 was to place into effect these regulations by Executive action, and thereby avoid the necessity of congressional approval.

However, in the drafting of H. R. 3670 the proposed delegation of authority was very greatly broadened, and it will be observed that no reference is made to the regulations already agreed to, nor to the manner of their becoming effective other than after publication in the Federal Register.

Further, the bill as drafted would permit the amendment of such agreed regulations, or the proclaiming of any new regulations for preventing collisions, merely by Executive proclamation and publication as stated.

The shipping industry which we represent is not objecting to the agreed-upon 1947 rules, although in the light of events which have transpired since 1948 it is conceivable that some additional and valuable suggestions might be forthcoming.

Again I wish to emphasize that the shipping interests which we represent are prepared to accept the 1948 convention as it stands. However, the industry seriously questions the wisdom of granting authority to amend such rules from time to time by Presidential proclamation, as well as the desirability of providing an avenue for possible frequent changes in a navigation operation of such importance and affecting so wide an area of world shipping.

The present rules have been in effect since 1890, and the sudden urging of this procedure is disturbing to the American shipping industry. We have noted the testimony that 24 of the 29 nations represented at the Safety of Life at Sea Convention have ratified or approved the 1948 collision regulations and have so notified the United Kingdom Government.

It does not appear to us that the numerical majority is of as great importance as the factual situation in determining “substantial unanimity.” If any maritime nation with a substantial fleet upon the high seas is still not included, we feel that the time has not arrived when these regulations might be safely and properly made effective.

The value of property and the invaluable lives at stake make it highly essential that the rules affecting safe navigation on the high seas as they relate to possible collisions be uniform in character, and understood by all maritime navigators. We think, therefore, that any laxity in the promulgation of such rules or any uncertainty as to the time as to when they may safely be made effective is of great importance, and should be safeguarded with great care by the Congress.

The shipping industry which we represent is opposed to any short cuts or hasty action. We are not convinced as to the necessity for such in the present case. We are not offering any objection to the 1948 rules for the prevention of collisions at sea, as such, if they are put into effect at the proper time, in the proper manner, and with the proper safeguards. We are quite content with existing laws and rules until there is more evidence of a need for extraordinary action.

Basically, we are opposed to laws by decree or proclamation and are strongly in favor of laws by the customary legislative methods without any unusual delegation of power. Rather then have some uncertainty as to "substantial unanimity," we would, if given our choice, prefer 100 percent acceptance by all nations who have sizable merchant fleets.

We feel certain that the committee will agree that international unanimity of such regulations is of the utmost importance, and that any changes therein must be at infrequent intervals and by uniform action, and with long notice of effective date, if we are not to create even greater hazards for those who navigate watercraft upon the high seas.

Mr. Chairman, departing from the statement, I would like to say that the question of black-out which was brought before this committee in the last 2 days is new to us. It has not been considered by the shipping industry as such. We can see a situation which has there developed. But if the regulative processes are followed in which there would be a hearing and legislative action on the bill, the question of how to meet that black-out situation might very well be determined by the committee and by the Congress at that time.

But we are not prepared at this time to state any opinion for American shipping because it is a new subject to us and we haven't heard about it except in the last 2 days. For these reasons, we respectfully ask that H. R. 3670 in its present form be not approved by this committee.

Thank your, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by the statement in the next to the last sentence in the first paragraph on page 3, Mr. Bailey, with respect to “We are not offering any objection to the rules if they are put into effect at the proper time, in the proper manner, and with the proper safeguards”? Will you give us an idea of what you mean by the proper time, the proper manner, and the proper safeguards”?

Mr. Bailey. The proper time, Mr. Chairman, seems to us would be wben there is such unanimity in the effectiveness of these rules that there would not be a substantial number of ships on the high seas not observing those rules or observing some other rule.

The CHAIRMAN. That would be preferably 100 percent assent.

Mr. BAILEY. Of any nation that has a sizable fleet. I was interested this morning to hear that some of the nations who have not yet agreed to the 1948 rules are nations who do have sizable fleets.

The CHAIRMAN. Norway, for instance.

Mr. BAILEY. Yes, sir. Panama now has, under the Panamanian flag, a fairly large fleet. The nations mentioned here all bave substantial fleets. So it doesn't seem to us that we can put it into effect until there is nothing more than a small and straggling number of vessels on the seas who are not subject to such rules or regulations. As to the manner, what we have reference to here is due notice as to the date and the time when these rules will become effective so that every nation, not only the nation itself but its mariners, may have notice as to the effective date of these proposed rules.

The CHAIRMAN. And with the proper safeguards.

Mr. BAILEY. The safeguards, I take it, would be the prevention of the changes and modifications and amendments to those rules which is authorized as we see it in the proposed bill. They might be made effective today and next week there might be another rule made which would become effective upon notification or through publication in the Federal Register.

We think a safeguard should be against any variation, sudden variation or substantial change in those rules, without having gone through the customary processes which we have followed in the past.

The Chairman. That would be the very opposite to what this bill provides.

Mr. BAILEY. As we see it, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. It might, impromptu, issue any regulations that we saw fit. Mr. BAILEY. Yes. We

very seriously doubt that that would occur. But we are not talking about probabilities; we are talking about possibilities as we see it.

The CHAIRMAN. Proper legal procedures and constitutional forms?
Mr. BAILEY. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions, gentlemen?
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Allen.

Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Bailey, have you given any thought to the form of the bill that would be agreeable to you or have you prepared any draft of such a bill?

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