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ing other vessels. The last time I saw it was more than thirty-five years ago, when steamers were not so numerous as they are now.
Mr. FLOOD (Norway). Mr. President, may I be allowed to corroborate what I said a little while ago about its being very seldom the case that sailing.vessels are found towing another vessel! When I said that, I was alluding to my experience on this side of the Atlantic. I must say, with the learned delegate from Germany, Captain Donuer, that in the North Sea and the Baltic it is a common occurrence to tow in vessels of that description, because those waters are swarming with a great many ships.
Captain SETTEMBRINI (Italy). Mr. President, I wish to answer the question of the learned delegate from the United States. I have been thirty-two years at sea, and I have never seen a sailing ship towing another ship; still it may happen. As the honorable delegate from Germany has stated, in the North Sea sailing ships do tow other sailing ships. If that is the case, I think it necessary to provide a signal for sailing ships towing other ships.
Mr. GOODRICH (United States). Mr. President, may I call attention to the fact now that, having heard from these nautical men the instances of sailing vessels towing other vessels, it will be quite manifest to the Conference that these statements embrace every instance that has fallen within the observation of these gallant delegates; but there is a still further reduction of the frequency of these cases, namely, when you come to take the question as to how often this has occurred in a fog. I would like to know, and perhaps I should have asked the ques. tion before, if there is any delegate at the table who ever heard or who ever saw within his own experience a sailing vessel towing another ves. sel in a fog?
Mr. FLOOD (Norway). Mr. President, I would answer that question by saying that in a fog it is very hard to see and it is very difficult to hear.
Captain MENSING (Germany). Mr. President, I pointed out the other day that I have seen, myself, several of these cases, and I can assure the Conference that they are not as infrequent as has been supposed. The gallant delegates from Sweden and Norway, and my colleague from Germany, have pointed out that these cases do happen. It is very easy to explain why these things should happen so often in the Baltic and the North Sea and not so often in other waters. For instance, if a ship sails from New York for China she will go out of the harbor of New York and up the Shanghai River. In all that time she will see very few ships except while coming out of New York Bay and going into the Shanghai River. Lying off these places are swarms of tugs, and whenever any ship is in distress, the tugs will take her in tow.
Now, take the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, where there are no tugs. Look at the chart and see all of these inlets upon these coasts, where they have very bad weather, with sudden changes, such as are not to be found, I believe, in the glorious waters of the Mediterranean. I dosire, therefore, to state to the Conference that in these waters this towe ing is a thing of rather frequent occurrence. How many tugs are there along the coast of Sweden outside of the harbors? There are a few steamers which make it their business to tow derelicts and to save life; so that a vessel has to rely for that kind of help upon sailing ves. sels; along this coast most of the traffic goes near the shore, and that they will fall in very soon with a steamer is not the point at all, as has been pointed out most ably by the gallant delegate from Italy. We know this thing happens, and we ought to provide for it. We have under discussion in another General Division the removal of derelicts. I would like to know how many derelicts have been seen by the members of this Conference! I would like to ask them whether they do not consider them quite serious impediments to navigation, and whether they are not of opinion that something should be done with regard to them! I think the towing cases certainly happen as often as the others.
Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, I do not think we should be wise if we branched off into the discussion of matters which have been assigned to committees upon other divisions of the programme, because I apprehend the question is as to whether or not this state of affairs should be provided for in the rules of the road at sea, and that is a very different question than the question as to whether it can properly be discussed and provided for by other divisions in the prograinme of the Conference. I think we are all agreed that it is desirable to confine the articles of the rules of the road at sea as much as we can within bounds, and not to put anything in them unnecessarily. Whereas, in the other divisions, we can discuss every possible matter which arises pertinent to the subjects which are provided for in those divisions. Now, I wish to say in a very few words—I think we are agreed that this matter has been thoroughly discussed-how we propose to vote.
There is one matter which I think can not have helped striking the minds of many of us at this table. We are told now that there is a demand for this signal. It is suggested that there is a great demand for it in certain places. It is a remarkable fact that we have been sitting here ever since the 16th of October, and with the exception of one proposal, that made by the gallant delegate from Sweden, who has withdrawn it because he sees the difficulties with which it is fraught, not one single delegate at this table has made a proposal until this came before us in the present case in the report of the Committee on Sound-Signals. One would have thought that, if there was such a demand for a signal, we would have amendments showered down upon us by the delegates who are aware of the importance of hav. ing such a sound-signal. But with the exception of the gallant delegate from Sweden, who gave notice of an amendment, and who, as I say, has withdrawn his application because he sees the difficulties standing in the way, no single amendment was handed in asking for anything of the kind.
Now, I would just refer to what we have heard to-day, and I admit that they are statements which require the very greatest attention. We now know that in certain parts of the North Sea such cases as are provided for here are not of unfrequent occurrence. But is not that rather a local matter? Are we to frame rules for exceptional cases such as this? I confess that I thought our object was to have international rales, which related, practically, to the whole sea; but to leave individual cases, as far as we could, to take care of themselves. Now, Mr. President, I, on behalf of my colleagues, shall vote against this motion for exactly the same reasons that we did yesterday. I admire, if I may say so, the consistency of my gallant friend on my right, who, with the natural tenacity of a sailor, sticks to his colleagues and to his report. And, I may point out, that we are not showing the slightest disrespect to them, because their report is merely made upon the suggestion of the Conference that sailing vessels which are towing should give a distinctive signal. This is not their suggestion. They merely provided a signal in response to the request of the Conference, so that we are not disregarding their report at all in that respect, and we are not discussing whether that is a good signal, but whether such a signal should be given at all. Having regard to the reasons which I gave yesterday, notwithstanding what we have heard this morning that there are cases in the North Sea, that this is practically an exceptional case met with on the sea ; and having regard to the difficulty in getting a convenient signal, and having regard to the very important point which has been mentioned by the gallant delegate from Sweden, I shall, on the part of Great Britain, vote against this proposal.
Captain SALVESEN (Norway). Mr. President, the learned delegate for Great Britain stated that there has not been any great demand for any fog-signal for sailing vessels towing. I beg to remark that as such an amendment was delivered in the beginning of the session, I don't see that it would be proper for other delegates to propose other amendments to the same effect. And as this amendment was carried, and the Conference decided that the sailing vessel towing should have a distinctive fog-signal, provided the Committee on Sound-Signals could find a proper signal, I do not see that the statement of the learned delegate of Great Britain is just to the point.
Mr. CARTER (Hawaii). Mr. President, when the learned delegate of the United States asked the nautical men to rise and give their experience I kept my seat, not knowing exactly how to classify myself. The circumstances of my birth, residence, and business have taken me very much to sea; and I have made about sixty ocean voyages. I have also had much to do with the law. I kept quiet, waiting for the nautical men to state their experience first. I have regretted several times in this Conference that among the very able delegates of the United States there is not a person acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the Pacific coast. I venture to say that this rule would have more relevancy upon the Pacific coast than in any other part of the United States of America. This coast is peculiarly subject to fog. It is a coast where hundreds of sailing vessels in the lumber and coal trade are plying constantly. The departures from San Francisco to Honolulu are, you may say, almost a sailing vessel every other day, besides the steamers. The cases are not at all ipfrequent when sailing vessels come into collision with one another in a fog; and the result always is that they ask the other vessel to lie by or, if the vessel is injured, to take her in tow until she can find a steam-tug. Take the waters of Paget Sound; there are hundreds of small lumber vessels running through those waters, and they are constantly helping each other in
I should be very much impressed with the remarks made by the learned delegate of Great Britain if this Conference had been asked to find a new signal, and in that case I think the rarity of the occasionsalthough I do not agree with him from my own experience-would have given some pertinency to the objections; but as we are not making any new signal, but are merely giving a sailing vessel the right to make the same signal as the steamer, there can be no difficulty arising from it. The objection, it seems to me, goes into thin air. The only objection is that it is useless. We point out that it will be very useful. We do not ask for any new legislation or for any new signal. We simply wish that under these circumstances (which are not infrequent, as some of the gentlemen imagine whose attention is drawn wholly to New York and to those places where there are any quantity of tugs) a sailing vessel may be permitted to give the sigual.
Now, let me put a practical case. A vessel is coming up and hears the signal in a fog. Those signals are generally heard at first very indistinctly and with listening ear; their whole being is intent upon locating the sound. The first thought, then, is to locate the sound, and then to find out what it is. They listen to see whether that vessel is on the starboard tack, or on the port tack, or running with the wind free. Now, the first thing that a man ought to be made to know is that the vessel is towing another vessel, if there is such a danger in his path; and it is necessary for him to know this, notwithstanding that it may be a rare case. But I venture to say that it happens ten times in a year in and about the Bay of San Francisco, and Puget Sound, where temporary assistance may be given by one sailing vessel to another. We do not hear very much about these collisions. They do not involve generally neore than $3,000 or $4,000, and the damage is not like that of collisions in the port of New York between steamers where lives are in danger. But I am confident that these cases are not as rare as some of the gentlemen seem to think, and in addition to that they can be easily provided for without making any new signals, and they ought to be provided for; therefore I shall vote in that way.
Mr. VERBRUGGHE (Belgium). Mr. President, we have had a very long discussion upon this subject and I believe we all know about how we are to vote. I wish to explain my vote. I shall vote for the signal and for the proposition made by the Committee on Sound-Signals to put in the article that the provision should be made for sailing vessels. A great deal of discussion has ariseu upon the question as to whether this was a case of frequent or infrequent occurrence. If it is not so fre. quent it does not matter if you give the signal; but there should be one provided for such a case when it occurs. I listened with the greatest attention to the speech given by the gallant Admiral, the chairman of the compittee. He is not of the same opinion as the learned first delegate from Great Britain, and, therefore, the delegates will be at a loss to know, or at least they will be obliged to make their choice between the two opinions. One opinion is given by a seafaring man who occupies a very high rank in the naval power of Great Britain, and I do not believe that he defended the rule only for the sake of duty and because he was the chairman of the committee. If he had done so he would not have illustrated it as he did, when he referred to the case of two sailing vessels meeting. Certainly those sailors who will be in such a condition as this in a fog, will not be satisfied with the delegates if they do not provide for such a case, because they will be more in dan. ger then than they would be if there were no signal given. Therefore, I shall vote for the sailing vessels having the signal, and I wish the President to put the question to a vote.
Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, may I, merely for the sake of explanation, point out that in what I have said I have been carefully guarded so that it should not be supposed that I was expressing my private opinion on any occasion. I have always spoken in the name of the delegates from Great Britain. I should not presume to give my private experience on any nautical matter, and I am always careful to say that I am expressing the decision of the delegates from Great Britain.
Mr. VERBRUGGHE (Belgium). Mr. President, I hope I have not said anything which was not correct or respectful. I only meant to say that I was very much puzzled by the discussion that has gone on. I will say again that I was very much impressed by the illustration given by the gallant Admiral, Sir George Nares.
Captain MENSING (Germany). Mr. President, as the learned delegate from Great Britain mentioned that no amendment proposing a sig. nal for a sailing vessel towing another vessel had been made, I would like to ask him to look at amendment No. 85, which was proposed by the gallant delegate from Sweden, Captain Malmberg.
Mr. HALL (Great Britain). I said excepting the one proposed by the gallant delegate from Sweden.
Captain MENSING (Germany). Mr. President, quite a considerable discussion has taken place upon this question. I inferred from his remarks that he thought it had been overlooked. It has been brought up before,