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1. The name of every registered merchant vessel shall be marked upon each bow and upon the stern, and the port of registry of every such vessel shall be marked upon the stern.

These names shall be marked in Roman letters in a light color on a dark ground, or in a dark color on a light ground, and to be distinctly visible.

The smallest letters used shall not be less than four (4) inches high.

2. The draft of every registered vessel shall be marked upon the stem and stern post in English feet or decimeters, in either Arabic or Roman numerals. The bottom of each numeral shall indicate the draft to that line.

GENERAL DIVISION 6.

NECESSARY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SEAMEN, INCLUD

ING TESTS FOR SIGHT AND COLOR BLINDNESS.

(a) A uniform system of examination for the different grades. (6) Uniform tests for visual power and color-blindness. (c) General knowledge of methods employed at life-saving stations. (d) Uniform certificates of qualification.

1. Every man or boy going to sea as a scaman, or with the intention of becoming a seaman, should be examined for visual power and color-blind. ness; and no man or boy should be permitted to serve on board any vessel in the capacity of seaman, or where he will have to stand lookout, whose visual power is below one-half normal or who is red and green color blind.

2. Every man who shall qualify as an officer or as a pilot of a registered vessel after the adoption of these rules, except engineer officers, shall be required to have a certificate that he has the necessary visual power and that he is not red and green blind. He shall also have a certificate that he is familiar with the regulations for preventing collisions at sea, and with the duties required of him in co-operating with a life-saving station in case his vessel is stranded.

3. It is recommended that each country provide means which will enable any boy or man intending to go to sea to have his eyes examined for visual power and color-blindness, and to obtain a certificate of the result; also to enable the master of any vessel to have the eyes of any of his crew tested for the same purpose.

It is the opinion of the committee that defective visual power and color-blindness are sources of danger at sea, the first both by day and night, because of the inability of the short-sighted to see objects at a sufficient distance. Color-blindness is a source of danger, more especially at night, because of the inability of a color-blind person to distin. guish between the red and green side lights. The inability on the part of an officer or look-out to distinguish the color of buoys may be a cause of accident in broad daylight.

It is the opinion of the committee, however, that tests for these defects need not be enforced in the cases of masters and mates who al. ready occupy such positions.

The committee purposely avoid making any recommendation as to the methods to be used in making such tests for visual power and colorblindness, or in conducting the necessary examinations for officers. It is thought that the desired objects will be best secured by leaving each country to employ the methods which may seem most suitable.

CHEN NGEN TAO.
MAN'L ARAGON.
CHR. DONNER.
JAMES WIMSHURST.
H. SETTEMBRINI.
W. T. SAMPSON, Chairman.
CAPT. H. LANNELUC.
CAPT. L. SALDANHA DA GAMA.
T. SALVESEN.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE UPON THE SUBJECT OF

A UNIFORM LOAD-MARK.

GENERAL DIVISION 3 OF THE PROGRAMME.

RESOLUTION.

Resolved, That the Chair appoint a committee of seven upon the subject of a uniform load-mark, general division 3 of the programme.

MOTION.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). That the several committees be in. creased, each by two, and that the Committee on Collocation also be increased by two members.

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DRAFT TO WHICH VESSELS SHOULD BE RESTRICTED WHEN LOADED. Uniform maximum load-mark.

WASHINGTON, November 26, 1889. To Rear-Admiral S. R. FRANKLIN,

President of the International Marine Conference, etc.: SIR: Your committee, having been appointed to report on the subject of a uniform load-mark, bave first of all endeavored to obtain as much information as could be collected on this very important question. S. Ex, 53, pt. 3--12

177

The British law, as laid down in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1876 (39 and 40 Vict., c. 80), gives certain powers to the Board of Trade to detain British and foreign vessels which, by reason of overloading or improper loading, are unfit to proceed to sea without serious danger to human life. These powers may be put into force against foreign ships when they have taken on board all or any part of their cargo at a port in the United Kingdom, and are, wbilst at that port, unsafe by reason of overloading or improper loading.

With the intention of carrying out this law in a way consistent with the interests of the mercantile community on the one side and with the regard due to protection of life and property on the other side, certain general rules, after careful investigations instituted by a load-line committee appointed by the president of the Board of Trade, as well as by the Board of Trade, have been framed with the purpose of ascertain. ing whether a ship be overloaded or not. These rules assign to ships a freeboard, which, according to the experience collected on the subject, is considered sufficient to prevent dangerous overloading without unduly interfering with trade, and they contain tables assigning such freeboard as is suitable for vessels of the highest class in Lloyd's Reg. ister or of strength equivalent thereto, and which is to be increased for ships of inferior strength.

The above-mentioned rules have proved to be a good standard upon which to determine the proper loading of British vessels which are classed in Lloyd's Register, or for other vessels the particulars of whose strength and fitness to carry any particular cargo can easily be ascer. tained by the surveyors of the Board of Trade.

As regards foreign ships, however, which are loading in the United Kingdom, and which are either not classed in Lloyd's Register, or the particulars of which can not be ascertained without a minute examination, the difficulty exists that the law which intends to guard against the dangers arising from overloading can not be enforced without serious disadvantages to the owners of ships and cargoes consequent upon the difficulty of ascertaining whether the ships are fit to carry the cargo in question.

For these reasons it appears to be obvious that it would be very desirable if means could be found to ascertain, in a simple and easy way and without loss of time, the fitness of any vessel loading in a port of the United Kingdom to load a particular cargo.

These remarks naturally apply also to vessels loading elsewhere, because it is a very high and important interest, common to all nations, to take every possible measure for the protection of life and property against the dangers arising from overloading.

For these reasons it appears to deserve very serious attention whether, by providing for a certain load-line to be marked on sea-going ships, a trustworthy and simple method could be arrived at for deciding whether a loading vessel should be detained for overloading or ought to be allowed to go to sea.

The British Government has recently invited the attention of other governments to this question. But inasmuch as up to the present no progress has been made in this matter, the question arises whether something could be done to expedite an understanding by any action on the part of the Conference now here assembled.

Now, as far as your committee have been able to ascertain, the laws of many maritime nations contain provisos for dealing with the ques. tion of overloading, and enabling the local authorities to detain overladen ships. But nowhere, except in Great Britain, as far as is known, bave statutory rules been introduced for the purpose of ascertaining whether a ship be fit to carry a certain cargo by a load-mark or load-line.

In order to arrive at such laws and to enforce them, it would appear to be necessary to induce the governments of the maritime nations not only to institute investigations similar to those made in Great Britain above referred to, but also to establish a sufficient staff of competent officials to insure the universal compliance with the laws to be given, and to establish courts of appeal authorized to decide on complaints against unjust detention, and to award damages to the ship-owners and shippers of cargo in case of an unjustifiable detention.

It appears to your committee that this would be surrounded with very serious difficulties, as it depends upon the varying conditions of each country whether the Governments would think it advisable to take steps in this direction or not. It must be kept in mind that a great display of scientific labor, and morever a heavy expenditure of money, would be necessary to introduce a system similar to that which is used in Great Britain. Besides, it could be questioned whether it be necessary to make a law on load-lines or load-marks in order to guard against the danger of overloading, because it might be said that sufficient safeguards are given by the responsibility of the ship-owners towards the shippers of the cargo, and to their insurers, and by the control exercised by the undewriters and the various institutions for classing ships. There may also be circumstances peculiar to certain countries, as for example, the fact that the goods which they export generally are light goods only, which do not endanger the stability of a ship, which may operate in favor of non-interference on behalf of the respective Governments.

Your committee are led to believe that on these grounds, notwithstanding the advantages which would be connected with the introduction of a uniform system of load-marks, this matter is not ripe for consideration by this Conference, and that it ought to be left to the negotiations to be carried on between the Governments of the maritime nations.

We beg to remark in concluding, that this report has been sanctioned

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