페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Captain SHACKFORD (United States). Mr. President, the amendment as it is at present his also the cordial indorsement of the delegate from Germany, Captain Mensing, who I see is not present this morning.

The PRESIDENT. If there be no objection to substituting the last proposed amendment of the delegate from the United States, it will be considered the amendment which is now before the Conference. There seems to be no objection to the substitution, and the question will be upon the substituted amendment.

The question was put to the Conference upon the adoption of the substitute for amendment No. 59, proposed by the delegate from the United States, and the substituted amendinent was carried.

The PRESIDENT. Extra amendment No. 60 is next in order. The Secretary will please read it.

Extra amendment No. 60 is as follows:

“All vessels under way shall keep out of the way of coupled steamers engaged in trawling."

Captain VARELA DE TORRES (Spain). Mr. President, as Lieutenant Vega de Seoane is not here, I want to support this amendment, and I think that it will be scarcely necessary for me to say more than a few words in regard to it. Every man who has been at sea knows perfectly well that it is impossible for two steamers which are coupled together and are trawling to keep out of the way of other vessels; and on that account we think that these steamers must be treated as ships which can not get out of the way. For that reason I think that such steamers as are described in this amendment should have the same privilege as a sailing ship.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, I think we have fully disposed of the subject of giving these vessels the right of way, and I think the Conference has practically settled this question. Of course it is well to have discussion upon it if it is deemed desirable to have the matter brought up again before the Conference, but, as I understand it, that subject has been practically disposed of under the amendment of Dr. Sieveking. My idea is that the simple fact that steamers are coupled together makes no difference. It is reversing the whole rule of the road to compel a sailing vessel to keep out of the way of a steamer.

Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, I quite agree with the learned delegate from the United States that if we were to adopt this amendment we should be reversing completely the rule of the road at sea, that a steamer should keep out of the way of a sailing vessel. If a steamer chooses to couple herself for the purpose of trawling, let her do it and take the responsibility and inconvenience of it; then, if it be necessary, she must let go of the trawl to keep out of the way. I do not think we can possibly say that a sailing vessel should keep out of the way of steamers when they are coupled together. As I say, it would be a very strong reversal of the ordinary principles. I am certain that the honorable delegate will see himself that if we should adopt this amendment it would open the doors to making very great alterations in what is the accepted principle of the rules of the road at sea, that steamers must keep out of the way of sailing vessels.

The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the amendment of the delegate from Spain.

Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, perhaps I may point out that we refused to give this concession to steamers towing, and there are far more cases of steamers towing than of steamers trawling. The Conference decided by an overwhelming decision that they would not give such a privilege to a vessel towing.

The PRESIDENT. Is the Conference ready for the question? The amendment will be read again.

The amendment is as follows:

“All vessels under way shall keep out of the way of coupled steamers engaged in trawling."

The PRESIDENT. Is the Conference ready for the question !

The question was put to the Conference upon the adoption of extra amendment No. 60, and it was lost.

The PRESIDENT. The next business in order is the new section proposed by the delegate from the United States. It will be read.

The proposed new section is as follows:

" In every case of collision between two vessels it shall be the duty of the master or person in charge of each vessel, if and so far as he can do so without danger to his own vessel, crew, and passengers (if any), to stay by the other vessel until he has ascertained that she has no need of further assistance, and to render to the other vessel, her master, crew, and passengers (if any), such assistance as may be practicable and as may be necessary in order to save them from any danger caused by the collision, and also to give to the master or person in charge of the other vessel the name of his owu vessel and her port of registry, or the port or place to which she belongs, and also the name of the ports and places from which, or to which, she is bound. If he fails to do so, and no reasonable cause for such failure is shown, the collision shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to have been caused by his wrongful act, neglect, or default."

Mr. KIMBALL (United States). Mr. President, this matter has been dealt with by the Committee on Life Saving Systems and Devices, and I would suggest that it might be well to await the report of that committee before taking action upon it.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, I have no objection to that. I call the attention of the delegates to the fact that in the fourth line from the bottom the word “or” should be “and,” so that it would read, and also the name of the ports and places from which and to which she is bound.” May I ask the chairman of the Committee on Life-Saving Systems and Devices when the report will be ready?

Mr. KIMBALL (United States). It is now nearly ready to hand to the printer.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, if the chairman of that committee desires to have this matter laid over, of course it should be done at once.

Mr. KIMBALL (United States). I think my colleagues on the committee would like to have it laid over.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). I have no objection to that.

The PRESIDENT. Does the delegate for the United States desire to have the consideration of this matter withheld until the report of that committee ?

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, the only possible reason that would be adverse to such a concession is that the Collocation Committee wants to lay the result of their work before the Conference, and any unpassed or unconsidered rule delays that work just so much. Of course, if the committee ask it we will have it lie over.

Mr. KIMBALL (United States). I will say that the committee approves of it with the exception of the last sentence. The committee does not approve of the principle contained in the last sentence, and it states its reasons.

The PRESIDENT. If there is no objection, the consideration of this section will be laid over for future consideration.

Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, I think there is great ob. jection; because, as has been pointed out by the learned delegate of the United States, it prevents the Collocation Committee from going on and completing their rules and laying them before the Conference. I am very glad to hear from the honorable delegate of the United States that the principle of this amendment is to be reported on favorably by the committee of which he forms so distinguished a member; that is, the amendment with the exception of the last four lines. I take it that-and I only speak from what I hear—there may be objection to the last four lines of this amendment. Of course my colleagues and I will support this amendment in its entirety, because it is what the law is in England at the present time, and we should be very glad to see it made an international law if possible; but at the same time, I think we might possibly accept the amendment with the exception of the last four lines, if the learned delegate for the United States thinks that would be desirable. Of course, this is a matter entirely for him to consider. But if we could practically test the principle, then I think we ought to do so without much loss of time, so that we shall be in a position to print the rules as amended.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, I have taken this amendment from the statute of the 36th and 37th Victoria, and it is, or is intended to be, in the exact words of that statute, leaving out the penal clause which subjects the master who disobeys these laws to a penalty or punishment for a misdemeanor, that, of course, being a matter which must be dealt with by the several powers which adopt the report of this Conference. But it seems to me that in the absence of that provision it would be folly to leave out the punishment which is implied and which results from the last few lines of this amendment. Therein lies the power of compelling obedience to the first part of it. The first part of the amendment simply says that the master shall stop, and the second contains the only punishment which the rules can inflict, namely, that if he fails to obey the rule, and no reasonable cause for such failure is shown, the collision shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to have been caused by his own wrongful acts. I do not think it is desirable to discuss this until we hear from the committee.

Captain RICHARD (France). Mr. President. I have two objections to the proposition of the honorable Mr. Goodrich. The first is, it is not wise to introduce such a provision into the rules themselves, of which it should not form a part. The second, the merits of which I will discuss when the proper time arrives, will be to ask the Conference to leave out the last four lines of the amendment as being not a proper subject for an international agreement. I will briefly examine, from this double stand-point, the wisdom of sending this amendment back when the report of the Committee on Division 5 shall come up for discussion, and I will state that the necessity of so sending it back is selfevident, for the following reason:

In France the rules of the road are simply directions for the guidance of navigators, and outside of cases of collision, of running aground, or of damage, in order to reach the captains who have infringed or neg. lected to observe these rules, our legislation is obliged to resort to Article 471 of our penal code, which punishes with a fine of from 1 to 5 francs those who offend against the rules legally promulgated by the proper authority. Is that desirable or sufficient! Instead of an administrative regulation, a law should be demanded to prevent a repetition of such an offense, and in order to obtain such a law it is necessary that the amendment should not be introduced into the rules of the road, but set forth in a special report. I therefore think that we should be very careful not to insert this proposition into directions which are no doubt very important, but the non-observance of which is followed by punishment only in exceptional cases.

I would also ask you to omit the last phrase of the proposition which, in our mind, is irreconcilable with strict justice.

It is evident that two distinct wrongs are confounded: collision, and the crime of inhumanity which is committed by speeding away after the collision and abandoning the vessel which requires assistance; because a captain is guilty of inhumanity he should not therefore be rendered responsible for the collision.

You should, therefore, leave to the committee, which has maturely considered this question, the care of presenting their proposition, which, having been formulated by the committee unanimously, may very prob. ably be accepted by everybody.

Captain MENSING (Germany). Mr. President, we have in Germany, as in Great Britain, a law by which those persons who leave a ship in dis. tress without rendering proper assistance can be punished. In this law the last sentence of this amendment is not contained, although the rest of the law is virtually the same as that which is in force in Great Britain. That points to the fact that the German Governinent thinks that the provision contained in the last sentence of the amendinent is not acceptable. I believe, on that ground, that the German Government would not be in a position to accept the amendment as it is proposed here. One difficulty has been mentioned by the gallant delegate from France, that there is a penalty inflicted by this law, in the rules of the road at sea. I believe that it would be the best for everybody concerned if, as the gallant delegate from France has suggested, this law were not to be incorporated in the rules of the road; but it might be adopted as a principle to be called to the attention of the different powers by the report which we are expecting from the Life-Saving Committee.

Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, I formally move that this matter be laid over until the coming in of the report of the Committee on Life-Saving Systems and Devices, in order that we may have all the material before us necessary to proper understanding of the arguments in favor of and against the proposition. I have thus far presented no argument in favor of it, which, of course, I should like to do in due season. I think, however, it will not be best to take up the time of the Conference to-day, as the suggestion has been made that it should be postponed until we hear further from the Committee on LifeSaving Systems and Devices.

The PRESIDENT. It is moved that this subject be laid over until the report of the Committee on Life-Saving Systems and Devices is received.

The question was put to the Conference upon the postponement of the new section proposed by the delegate from the United States, and the further consideration of the subject was postponed.

The PRESIDENT. The next business in order will be the additional report of the Committee on Sound-Signals. The Secretary will please read the report of this committee by sections. The Secretary will now read the first section of the report.

The first section of the report of the Committee on Sound Signals is as follows:

“ WASHINGTON, November 21, 1889. " To Rear-Admiral S. R. FRANKLIN, U. S. Navy,

" President of the International Marine Conference, etc. " SIR: Agreeably with the reference of the Conference on November 8, for the Committee on Sound-Signals to consider and report the specific cases in which new fog signals should be adopted and to report specific signals for such cases, we beg to submit that in the opinion of the committee it is desirable to adopt the sound-signals mentioned in the following report for compulsory or permissive use as advised."

« 이전계속 »