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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 overloadiug, 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 underwriters and the various institutions for classing ships. There may also be circumstances peculiar to certain countries, as, for example, the fact that the goods wbich 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 is 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 ou between the Governments of the maritime nations.
“We beg to remark, in concluding, that this report has been sanctioned by the undersigned members of your committee unanimously, and that Mr. Thomas Gray, who has been prevented from reading and signing it by the necessity of his departure, has, nevertheless, expressed his concurrence with its general views.
“Chairman of Committee. "J. MAURITY, “ R. BEAUGENCY, 66 CHIA NI lisi, “ E. RICHARD, “ R. SETTEMBRINI, “D. HUBERT, “ CLEMENT A. GRISCOM."
The PRESIDENT. The report is before the Conference.
Dr. SIEVEKING (Germany). Mr. President, I beg to move the adoption of this report. I do not think it is necessary to discuss it at present, and I beg to move that the report may be adopted.
Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, before this matter is put to a vote, perhaps it is desirable that I should say a very few words with regard to the attitude which Great Britain has taken in this matter. It may be within the knowledge of the members of the Conference that this matter of a uniform load-line was especially included in the subjects to be discussed by the Conference at the suggestion of Great Britain. I need not say that, having regard to what we believe to be the beneficent results of the system which was carried out in England, we thought it would be a matter of great advantage if it could be adopted by the whole of the maritime powers. We came here under that opinion, and we are still of the opinion that if such a matter can be carried out it is most desirable, in the interest of all sea-faring humanity, that it should be reduced into an international rule.
But, Mr. President, I am aware that this matter has been most care. fully considered by a committee who have investigated it thoroughly and having regard to the nature of their report-although, as I say, we are most anxious that this matter should become a subject for international agreement—that this matter is not ripe for consideration by this Conference, we bow to the decision of that committee and consider that it would not be becoming on our part to waste the time of the Conference by arguing a matter which the comunittee have reported not to be ripe for decision at the present time.
The PRESIDENT. Is the Conference ready for the question on the motion of the delegate from Germany, to adopt the report of the Committee on a Uniform Load-Line! Does the delegate from Great Britain desire the ayes and noes called on this question ?
Mr. Hall (Great Britain). No, Mr. President.
The question was put to the Conference upon the adoption of the committee report on a Uniform Load-Line, and it was unanimously adopted.
The PRESIDENT. The next business in order is the report of the Committee on General Division 13. The Secretary will please read the report. The report is as follows:
“ Report of the Committee upon General Division 13.
16 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL MARINE
“WASHINGTON, November 26, 1889. 66 To Admiral S. R. FRANKLIN,
" President of the International Marine Conference, etc., etc., etc. “SIR: Your committee have considered the above matter, and beg to report as follows:
“At the commencement of our proceedings we invited our colleagues and the Secretaries to the Conference to furnish us with the proposals, if any, prepared by Governments of the several Powers taking part in the Conference, or of any private societies or persons, bearing upon the subject in question. We have not succeeded in ascertaining that there are any such proposals in existence save the documents set out in the appendices hereto, A, B, C, D, and E.
6. We have considered whether such a commission could be instituted with a practical result, and in such a manner as to lead to its adoption by the maritime Powers.
" However desirable such a result would be, a majority of your committee does not believe it to be possible to carry it into effect, and is of opinion that it can not be regarded as one of practical feasibility at the present time.
“ We have also decided, by a majority of votes, that it is not possible to create an International Tribunal to try questions of collisions between subjects of different nationalities.
" In coming to this conclusion we have been guided amongst others by the following considerations :
“ An International Commission could not be invested with any legislative power. It would be a consulting body only, constituted with the view of preparing universal legislation on maritime matters of inter
national importance. Apart altogether from the difficulties connected with the formation of such a body, the questions as to its domicile, as to who are to be its members, and how and by whom the members are to be compensated for their labors-difficulties which by themselves seem to be entirely insurmountable for the present-it seems to your Committee that such a consulting body of experts would not serve the purpose for which it is intended to be created, viz, that of facilitating the introduction of reforms in maritime legislation, because the advice given by such a commission would not in any way enable the Governments of the maritime Nations to dispense with the necessity of consid. ering the subjects laid before them and laying the proposals made to them, if adopted, before the legislative bodies of the different States.
“The consequence of instituting a body like that in question on the contrary would, it appears, be this: That merely another investigation of any scheme proposed with a view to reforming international maritime laws would have to be gone through before the opinions of the Governments could be taken, and thus the course of procedure as it is nowby correspondence between the different Governments—would be made more complicated instead of being simplified. For these reasons your Committee beg to propose to resolve:
“That for the present the establishment of a permanent International Maritime Commission is not considered expedient. “We have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servants,
“TH. VERBRUGGHE, Delegate of Belgium.
“CLEMENT A. GRISCOM, Delegate of United States." “I regret that I am unable to sign this report, as its general tenor varies too much from the views entertained by the maritime associations in my country on the important question mentioned in General Division 13 of the programme.
“I have endeavored to explain the views in this respect of the said associations, as well as my own opinion, in a letter to the present Committee, which is laid before the Conference as appendix ( to the Committee's report.
“ AUG. SCHNEIDER, Delegate of Denmark.” Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, as Chairman of this Committee, perhaps I may say a few words pointing out the reasons which have induced us to come to the conclusion embodied in our report. In the first place, it was desirable that the committee should ascertain if there were any authoritative proposals made by any delegate to the Conference to see whether any of the maritime powers had desired any proposal to be laid before the Conference; and, if so, what the nature of those proposals was. So far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no proposals whatever brought forward by any foreign government, and we think there could hardly be a stronger illustration of the necessity for not dealing with this matter at present, because it is clear that the foreign governments have been invited to do so, as I will show the Conference in a very few moments, and they have apparently not thought the matter ripe for discussion, or that any proposal could be made at the present time.
Now, I will give you my reasons for stating that the foreign govern. ments have been requested to consider this matter and to instruct their delegates to make proposals at this Conference, and that they have all declined to do so. The conference of the Scandinavian powers took place in the month of July, last year, a year and a half ago. That was a representative body; but the delegates who were representative shipowners and underwriters, and so forth, had no authority as represent. atives of any government at all. They came to a general conclusion, which is embodied on the first page of their report, page 5 of the appendix, in which, in giving their reasons, they say:
“That the development of the shipping trade which bas taken place during the last years, having given rise to a great number of questions of which the satisfactory solution is of the utmost importance to the trade, the Conference resolves: That this object best can be obtained by the establishment of a permanent international commission, and requests the committee of the Conference to present a memorandum to tbis effect to the Maritime Congress, which is to be held at Washington in the last days of April next year, and to apply to the governments of the Northern States to submit the said resolution, with their recommendation, to the great European powers and the United States of America."
That was carried, and I have no doubt whatever that the committee did as they were requested and brought the matter before governments of the various maritime powers. They went further. The committee appoivted four gentlemen, undoubtedly of considerable position in the inaritime world in Denmark, to prepare a report. One of them was our honorable friend, the delegate who represents Denmark in this Conference. They drew up a report, and their report is set out in the appeddix. I think I ought to say at the outset that our object in preparing this report has not been merely to deal with the question at the present time and to report that the matter is not ripe for consideration now, but considering the desirability of giving to all the maritime powers all the information on the subject, we have thought it right, even at the expenditure of a considerable amount of printing, to print the whole of the proposals which have been laid before us, as a committee.
We have laid before this Conference in this report all of the proposals which we are aware of, which have been made with regard to the establishment of an international maritime commission, because we have thought it desirable that when this report is sent in as a part of the proceedings of the Conference, the attention of those who are responsible for the maritime trade of the respective countries will inquire into the matter, and they will have the materials before them at once. In that way a great deal of time will be saved which otherwise would be expended. We want to bring the matter before the various powers so that they can consider it thoroughly. Now, as I say, these gentlemen
were appointed by the committee to draw up a report, and they did so. They drew up one which is a very interesting document indeed ; but the sole recommendation in it with regard to an international mari. time conference is to be found on page 44. The Conference will see at once that it was impossible for us to formulate any international com. mission upon such a mere sketch of a proposal as is there given. It is at page 44
“A permanent, International Merchant Shipping Bureau should be established in London, with a staff consisting of a chief secretary, two assistant secretaries, and the necessary number of clerks, etc. This Bureau—which should be the intermediate link between the governments as to the regular and general communications respecting the international sides of merchant shipping questions-would, under control of the Commission, have to collect and arrange all sorts of informations in respect to international maritime laws or regulations, to prepare the proposals received from the contracting governments, maritime institutions, or private persons, to be laid before the delegates of the Commission, and on the whole to perform the different inquiries or other special tasks intrusted to it by the Commission. It should take charge of all the necessary publications, the reports of the conferences held by tbe Commission, and the correspondence in the English language) with the Commission or its subcommittees, as well as with the different maritime institutions and the public in general. The chief secretary should attend the conferences of the Commission, and take part in the discussion, but without right of voting. The Bureau to prepare a yearly report in the English language) or its works, and to forward it to the administrations of the contracting States.
• The common yearly expenses of this Bureau might probably be estimated at the same sum as proposed for the expenses of the bureau of the International Customs Tariff Commission at Brussels. The sum to be participated by the contracting States in proportion to the gross registered tonnage of their merchant steam fleets, but otherwise in the manner settled by the other international contentions. The perinanent merchant shipping commission to be composed of two or three delegates from each of the contracting States, of which one should be an expert in practical maritime questions and the other an expert in maritime law. The Commission to hold conferences with intervals of at least two years, alternately, in the capitals of the six most important maritime states. The expenses of these conferences to be borne in equal proportions by the contracting States."
These were the proposals of that committee. I may state that our coinmittee has received very great assistance from the learned delegate from Denmark, especially in the memorandum which he handed to us, Appendix O to the report of our committee. If we look at that, we find at once the key-note to the whole of this report, in which the learned delegate himself points out that the time has not come and will not come for many years when there should be such an international mari. time commission. That will be found at page 6.
“The views entertained on the composition and mode of action of a permanent international maritime commission seem at present to vary too much. For instance, in a report presented to the present Confer.