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Mr. Bailey. No, we have not, Mr. Allen. But so far as our thinking has gone, we would follow the procedure of the past, which has worked properly and effectively so far as we are aware.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, as Mr. McElhinney suggested, to embody the rules in the statutory law, the positive law of the United States.
Mr. BAILEY. As we understand was done in 1890, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bennett?
Mr. BENNETT. Do you prefer the new 1948 rules to the existing rules if they were established to be of equal unanimity in either case?
Mr. BAILEY. Yes, Mr. Bennett. American shipping industry was represented at this 1948 conference. They agreed to these rules. I do not say that they represent exactly what the American delegation proposed, but whatever compromises were reached in 1948 were acceptable to the American delegation as such.
Mr. BENNETT. Would you think that ore appropriate way of working out a type of legislation would be to enact these rules into legis·lation and then provide that the President might declare their effective date when it was sufficiently established that unanimity had been established and in accordance with the convention?
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Bennett, we really haven't thought that through to that extent. We assume that what was done the last time appeared to be effective. I do not recall what notice was given. But certainly when embodied in the law, ample notice should be given to all parties. I see that in this present case they had 1 year's notice. But certainly ample notice should be given as to the effective date when embodied into law.
Mr. BENNETT. You want to be sure it is not a unilateral proposition, that the United States has these rules and nobody else.
Mr. BAILEY. That is right. When we are navigating on the high seas and approaching another vessel we have to know something about the rules that other vessel is observing, and that she has had ample opportunitv to apprise herself of what the rules are.
Mr. ALLEN. Will you vield?
Mr. ALLEN. I have one other question. Mr. Bailey, would it be agreeable to the industry if legislation should provide that upon the enactment of a bill the President might then notify the United Kingdom that the proposed rules were acceptable to this Government and that the President might subsequently, when the United Kingdom notified the various nations of the effective date of the act, then by proclamation make the bill effective as of the date?
Mr. BAILEY. I think, Mr. Allen, that might well prove to be the
The CHAIRMAN. Why were these international rules not included in the treaty? Why were they separate from the treaty and given separate consideration?
Mr. BAILEY. Mr. Chairman, I can't answer that precisely. We would think perhaps that they felt by having them as an annex they could get them into effect more promptly than going through the ratification procedures which are necessary for a treaty. That may have been what was in their minds. We have no knowledge of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions, gentlemen?
way to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Bailey. I think that concludes the list of witnesses.
I have a statement here from Mr. George W. Morgan, president of the Association of American Shipowners, which he desires to have inserted in the record. It will be so inserted. Mr. Morgan was here during 2 days of the hearings but unfortunately could not remain over until the final day.
(The statement is as follows:) STATEMENT OF GEORGE W. MORGAN, PRESIDENT, AssociatION OF AMERICAN
Ship OWNERS My name is George W. Morgan. I am president of the Association of American Ship Owners, which has offices at 90 Broad Street, New York, N. Y., and at 1713 K Street NW., Washington, D. C. Our association is composed of some of the oldest and best-established companies operating American-flag ships. None of them has received any subsidy under the Merchant Marine Act, 1936. They are engaged in both the foreign and domestic trades.
The purpose of this bill, as we understand it, "is to authorize the President to proclaim regulations for preventing collisions involving water-borne craft, whether aircraft or surface vessels. Such regulations would have the force of statutes and would supersede all present statutes in conflict therewith.
The background appears to be as follows:
In 1890 the Congress enacted the “International Rules for Navigation at Sea" (26 Stat. 321), which is codified in 33 United States Code sections 71-141. A revision of the international rules was considered at the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea in 1948, but it was decided not to annex the revised regulations to the international convention that resulted. The rules, therefore, were not a part of the convention when it was ratified by the United States Senate in 1949. Even though the revised rules were not made part of the convention, the Conference on Safety of Life at Sea did recommend adoption of the rules by the governments of the nations that had accepted the 1890 rules. The plan was that as each nation authorized approval of the regulations it would notify the United Kingdom which would fix a date for the rules to become effective when substantial unanimity had been reached on their approval by the parties to the 1890 rules.
So far as I know there are no substantial objections to the revision of regulations recommended by the international conference. I am sure the shipowners all want to have good, sound“rules of the road” that will be accepted and applied internationally. It would of course defeat the purposes of preventing collisions if the regulations were not international in scope and it would be cumbersome, confusing, and dangerous if each maritime nation were to adopt and enforce different rules for its national vessels.
So we are in favor of the bill's objectives. But it appears that the powers that would be delegated are much more extensive than are necessary to make the regulations as revised by the 1948 international conference effective as to ships of American registry. The bill would authorize the proclamation of any regulations for preventing collisions, even though they might not conform to the proposed international standards. And if they did not, an American shipowner might be held liable abroad for a collision that resulted while he was strictly adhering to our own rules. When we bear in mind that the proclaimed regulations would repeal existing laws and themselves have the force of statute, it seems to me that an unusual and perhaps unconstitutional delegation of legislative power is proposed.
Our Government is said to be one of laws and not of men and that concept was reiterated by the Supreme Court just last week. Under it the Congress passes the laws and the executive branch administers them. This bill seems to contemplate that the Congress should abdicate its functions in the field of preventing collisions of watercraft and that it authorize the executive branch to write whatever laws on the subject it may wish. If the Congress can properly delegate its lawmaking functions in the field of watercraft collisions, it would seem to follow that it could also delegate its legislative powers in such other fields as appropriations and taxation.
The present rules of the road embrace only such matters as the lights and shapes a vessel must display and the sound signals it must give under different described conditions, together with certain "steering and sailing rules” a vessel must follow to avoid collisions with other vessels. Under the bill, authority might
conceivably be claimed for regulations governing the kind and use of communication and electronics devices on a vessel-a field now covered by statute and appropriately regulated by the Federal Communications Commission-or authority might even be claimed for imposing regulations in respect to the hours and duties of seamen-a field now adequately covered by the Coast Guard and by collective bargaining agreements with unions. Regulations under the bill are declared by section 5 to have the force of repealing all conflicting statutes and regulations, and under the broad language of the bill existing statutes in fields · only remotely related to "collisions at sea” might be overruled by Presidential proclamation.
We believe that the bill should be limited to its avowed purpose-namely to give the force of United States law to the 1948 international regulations at such time as they become generally effective as the international regulations for all nations.
I think that this objective can be accomplished without a sweeping delegation of legislative power. In 1949 the Coast Guard prepared a bill that seemed to be generally acceptable. As I understand it, it was approved at that time by representatives of the Department of State, the Maritime Commission, and the Maritime Law Association. I am filing a copy for the record as exhibit A to this statement. Apparently the Coast Guard's bill was abandoned and "upon the recommendation of the Department of State, the proposed bill was drafted in terms broad enough to enable the President to proclaim new regulations at any time in the future.”
If future international regulations are to be effective they must first be negotiated among the maritime nations and must then go through the ratification process of each-all of which takes time. During that somewhat lengthy process, the Congress would surely have plenty of time to look over what is proposed and there does not seem to be any need for the broad power that is recommended. It seems to me that the best method and all that is necessary at this time—is a clean bill repealing the present rules and enacting those that have been recommended by the international conference, with the proviso, however, that the act not become effective until such time as the President finds and determines that the new regulations are to be made generally effective by substantially all nations that have accepted the 1890 rules. We strongly recommend that this committee adopt this method of implementing the 1948 recommendations.
Sec. 1. The President, through the Secretary of State, is authorized to conclude in the name of the United States agreements with other nations for the international adoption of regulations for preventing collisions at sea and such regulations shall come into effect for all Public and Private vessels of the United States on a date fixed in a proclamation of the President following publication of such proclamation and regulations in the Federal Register.
Sec. 2. Effective as of the date upon which such regulations come into effect the Act of August 19, 1890, as amended, is repealed and section 177a of the Act of May 20, 1936 (49 U. S. C., 177a), is amended to read as follows:
"The navigation and shipping laws of the United States, including any definition of vessel' and 'vehicle' found therein, shall not be construed to apply to seaplanes or other aircraft except as provided for in the International
Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea." Sec. 3. Nothing in this Act shall affect the regulations for preventing collisions and the pilot rules issued thereunder for vessels navigating harbors, rivers, and inland waters of the United States, or the Red River of the North and the rivers emptving into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries, or the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the Lachine Canal in Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
Mr. Myron H. Avery. Mr. Chairman, may I request 3 minutes of the committee's time to clarify this black-out provision?
The CHAIRMAN. You may submit a statement, Captain. We don't have rebuttals at these hearings.
If there are no other witnesses who have not yet been heard, the subcommittee hearing is concluded.
(Whereupon, at 10:52 a. m., the subcommittee hearing was concluded.)