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and yachts; admeasurement laws for ascertaining gross and net ton. nage, crew accommodations, and propelling power; detailed statutory requirements concerning the issue of marine documents, bills of sale, mortgages, and records; laws relating to the officers and crews of merchant vessels, including those which govern agreements, shipment and discharge, offenses and punishments, legal scale of provisions, and return and relief of distressed seamen; the laws to determine seaworthiness and inspection, provisions, medicines, and log books, and statutes fixing the liability of owners, masters, and shippers; the passenger act of 1882 with amendments, prescribing measures in detail for the comfort of steerage passengers; the general pilot laws, laws governing motor boats, and provisions concerning tonnage duties, discrimination, and retaliation; statutes governing entry and clearance, manifests, boarding and search of vessels; the laws concerning the coasting trade, and particular statutes affecting trade with Hawaii, Porto Rico, Alaska, the Philippines, and the Canal Zone; the power of the Secretary of Commerce to mitigate and remit penalties incurred by the owners and masters of vessels; the statutory rules to prevent collisions of vessels on the ocean, on inland waters, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi and tributaries, and those defining the powers of the Secretary of Commerce over the anchorage and movements of vessels; the regulation of radio communication; the appointment of shipping commissioners and radio inspectors, and various other statutes. The volume comprises about 500 pages and is compiled for the use of collectors and inspectors of customs, shipping commissioners, the owners, masters, and agents of vessels, seamen, and others directly interested in vessels, their officers, crews, passengers, cargo, and navigation.

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[As modified by acts of February 14, 1903, and March 4, 1913.) Creation of Bu- There shall be in the Department of Commerce of the July 5, 1884 (23 United States a Bureau of Navigation, under the immeStat., 118), sec. 1. dinti

diate charge of a Commissioner of Navigation.


1 Only so much of the law pertaining to the Bureau of Navigation as refers to the creation of the Bureau and the general duties of its officers are included in this chapter. The laws administered through and by the Bureau relating to the registry, enrollment, and supervision of merchant vessels, and vessels engaged in the fisheries; to the issuance of marine documents; to the supervision of the coasting trade; to the regulation of radio communication, etc., are too voluminous to be included here, and are published in a separate volume entitled “Navigation Laws of the United States.”

oinder existr of the Golly charge of registand present

Duties of Com

Measurement and tonnage tax.

List of vessels.

The Commissioner of Navigation, under the direction of Commissioner,

general jurisdicthe Secretary of Commerce, shall havegeneral superintend- tion. ence of the commercial marine and merchant seamen

Ibid., sec. X. of the United States, so far as vessels and seamen are not, under existing laws, subject to the supervision of any other officer of the Government.

He shall be specially charged with the decision of all missioner, regisquestions relating to the issue of registers, enrollments, ters, etc. and licenses of vessels, and to the filing and preserving of those documents; and wherever in title forty-eight [R. S., 4131–4305] or fifty [R. S., 4311-4390] of the Revised Statutes any of the above-named documents are required to be surrendered or returned to the Register of the Treasury, such requirement is hereby repealed, and such documents shall be surrendered and returned to the Commissioner of Navigation. Said Commissioner shall have charge of all similar documents now in the keeping of the Register of the Treasury, and shall perform all the duties hitherto devolved upon said Register relating to navigation.

The Commissioner of Navigation shall be charged with an the supervision of the laws relating to the admeasurement Ibid., sec. s. of vessels, and the assigning of signal letters thereto, and of designating their official number; and on all questions of interpretation growing out of the execution of the laws relating to these subjects, and relating to the collection of tonnage tax, and to the refund of such tax when collected erroneously or illegally, his decision shall be final. The Commissioner of Navigation shall annually prepare

Ibid., sec. 4. and publish a list of vessels of the United States belonging to the commercial marine, specifying the official number, signal letters, names, rig, tonnage, home port, and place and date of building of every vessel, distinguishing in such list sailing-vessels from such as may be propelled by steam or other motive power. Upon affidavit by a siau.786).

Unon offidavit' by July 9, 1912 (37 reputable shipbuilder of the United States that an unrigged wooden vessel of the United States has been rebuilt, giving the date and place of such rebuilding, is sound and free from rotten or doted wood in structural parts, properly fastened and calked and in strength and seaworthiness as good as new, the Commissioner of Navigation shall include in the List of Merchant Vessels a notation to that effect. He shall also report annually to the Secretary of Com- Report and In

ecrevary Oi vode vestigation. merce the increase of vessels of the United States, by July 5, 1884 (25

Stat., 118), sec. 4. building or otherwise, specifying their number, rig, and motive power. He shall also investigate the operations of the laws relative to navigation, and annually report to the Secretary of Commerce such particulars as may, in his judgment, admit of improvement or may require amendment.

The Commissioner of Navigation shall, under the direc- Change of tion of the Secretary of Commerce, be empowered to "albid.sec. 6. change the names of vessels of the United States, under such restrictions as may have been or shall be prescribed by act of Congress.


Collections and dome Senate, Sitatos, 2



Commissioner's The Commissioner of Navigation shall be appointed by Sarbid., sec. 6. the President of the United States, by and with the advice

and consent of the Senate, and shall receive a salary of

four thousand dollars per annum. * * * Regulation of [Section 14 of the act of May 28, 1908, designates the seagoing barges.

Commissioner of Navigation a member of the board to prepare regulations regarding the towage of seagoing

barges within inland waters. (See p. 176.)] Deputy Com- [Ă Deputy Commissioner at a salary of $2,400, chief personnel of Bu-clerk at $2,000, and other employees are provided for the

Bureau of Navigation in the annual appropriation acts.] Shipping com- The Secretary of Commerce shall appoint a commis

1601. sioner for each port of entry, which is also a port of ocean June 26,1884(23 navigation, and which, in his judgment, may require Stat., 59).

the same; such commissioner to be termed a shipping commissioner, and may, from time to time, remove from office any such commissioner whom he may have reason to believe does not properly perform his duty, and shall then provide for the proper performance of his duties until another person is duly appointed in his place: Provided, That Shipping Commissioners now in office shall continue to perform the duties thereof until others shall be appointed in their places. Shipping Commissioners shall monthly render a full, exact, and itemized account of their receipts and expenditures to the Secretary of Commerce, who shall determine their compensation, and shall from time to time determine the number and compensation of the clerks appointed by such commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, subject to the limitations now fixed by law. The Secretary of Commerce shall regulate the mode of conducting business in the shipping offices to be established by the shipping commissioners as hereinafter provided, and shall have

full and complete control over the same, subject to the June 19, 1886 (24 provisions herein contained; and all expenditures by

shipping commissioners shall be audited and adjusted in the Treasury Department in the mode and manner

provided for expenditures in the collection of customs. Bond of ship- Every shipping commissioner so appointed shall give

slow bond to the United States, conditioned for the faithful R.S., 4502.

borsa performance of the duties of his office, for a sum, in the Stat., 1375. discretion of the Secretary of Commerce, of not less than

five thousand dollars, in such form and with such security as the Secretary of Commerce shall direct and approve; and shall take and subscribe the oath prescribed by section seventeen hundred and fifty-seven of the Revised Statutes before entering upon the duties of his office: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to affect in any respect the liability of principal or sureties on any

bond heretofore given by any shipping commissioner. Collector to act In any port in which no shipping-commissioner shall as shipping com

have been appointed, the whole or any part of the business R. S., 4503.

of a shipping-commissioner shall be conducted by the collector or deputy collector of customs of such ports; and in respect of such business such custom-house shall be deemed

Stat., 80).

ping commissi ers.

Apr. 26. 19


seamen void.

a shipping-office, and the collector or deputy collector of customs to whom such business shall be committed, shall, for all purposes, be deemed a shipping-commissioner within the meaning of this Title [R. S., 4501-4612].

Every shipping-commissioner, and every clerk or em- Illegal shipployé in any shipping-office, who demands or receives R. S., 4595. any remuneration whatever, either directly or indirectly, June 19, 1886 (24

uy, Stat., 79). for hiring or supplying any seaman for any merchantvessels, excepting the lawful fees payable under this Title [R. S., 4501-4612], shall, for every such offense, be liable to a penalty of not more than two hundred dollars. [Fees payable by individuals abolished June 19, 1886.]

All shipments of seamen made contrary to the provi- cosmipment sions of any act of Congress shall be void; and any seaman R. S., 4523. so shipped may leave the service at any time, and shall be entitled to recover the highest rate of wages of the port from which the seaman was shipped, or the sum agreed to be given him at his shipment...

Any person other than a commissioner under this Title Penalty for un R. S., 4501-4612], who shall perform or attempt to per-commissioner.

R. S., 4504. form, either directly or indirectly, the duties which are by this Title set forth as pertaining to a shipping-commissioner, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars.

Nothing in this Title [R. S., 4501-4612], however, shall prevent the owner, or consignee, or master of any vessel except vessels bound from a port in the United States to any foreign port, other than vessels engaged in trade between the United States and the British North American possessions, or the West India Islands, or the republic of Mexico, and vessels of the burden of seventy-five tons or upward bound from a port on the Atlantic to a port on the Pacific, or vice versa, from performing, himself, so far as his vessel is concerned, the duties of shipping-commissioner under this Title. Whenever the master of any vessel shall engage his crew, or any part of the same, in any collection-district where no shipping-commissioner shall have been appointed, he may perform for himself the duties of such commissioner. Any shipping-commissioner may engage clerks to assist Clerks to: ship

ing commissionhim in the transaction of the business of the shipping-er.

R. S., 4505. office, at his own proper cost, and may, in case of neces- Jan. 16, 1883 (22 sity, depute such clerks to act for him in his official capac-Stat.: 406);

al capaca June 26,1884 (23 ity; but the shipping-commissioner shall be held respon- Stat., 59), sec. 27. sible for the acts of every such clerk or deputy, and will June 19,1886 (24 be personally liable for any penalties such clerk or deputy Stat., 80). may incur by the violation of any of the provisions of this Title [R. S., 4501–4612]; and all acts done by a clerk, as such deputy, shall be as valid and binding as if done by the shipping-commissioner. Each shipping-commissioner shall provide a seal with Seal of shipping

commissioner, which he shall authenticate all his official acts, on which R. S., 4606. seal shall be engraved the arms of the United States, and the name of the port or district for which he is commissioned. Any instrument, either printed or written, pur


Stat., 687).


Duties of ship


porting to be the official act of a shipping-commissioner, and purporting to be under the seal and signature of such shipping-commissioner, shall be received as presumptive evidence of the official character of such instrument, and

of the truth of the facts therein set forth. Offices of ship. The Secretary of Commerce shall assign in public buildping commission- .

ings or otherwise procure suitable offices and rooms for R. S., 4507. Mar:8,1897 (29 the shipment and discharge of seamen, to be known as

shipping commissioners' offices, and shall procure furniture, stationery, printing, and other requisites for the

transaction of the business of such offices. Pay of shipping In no case shall the salary, [fees, and emoluments] of R. S., 4594., any officer appointed under this Title [R. S., 4501–4612] June 19, 1886 (24 Stat., 79).

be more than five thousand dollars per annum [; and any additional fees shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States).

- The general duties of a shipping-commissioner shall be: ping commission

First. To afford facilities for engaging seamen by keepR. S., 4508.

ing a register of their names and characters.

Second. To superintend their engagement and discharge, in manner prescribed by law.

Third. To provide means for securing the presence on board at the proper times of men who are so engaged.

Fourth. To facilitate the making of apprenticeships to the sea service.

Fifth. To perform such other duties relating to merchant seamen or merchant ships as are now or may here

after be required by law. tion be. Every shipping-commissioner shall hear and decide any fore shipping commissioner. `question whatsoever between a master, consignee, agent,

Aug:19, 1890 (26 or owner, and any of his crew, which both parties agree in Stat., 320).

writing to submit to him; and every award so made by him shall be binding on both parties, and shall, in any legal proceedings which may be taken in the matter, before any court of justice, be deemed to be conclusive as to the rights of parties. And any document under the hand and official seal of a commissioner purporting to be such

submission or award, shall be prima-facie evidence thereof. R. S., 4555.

In any proceeding relating to the wages, claims, or discharge of a seaman, carried on before any shipping-commissioner, under the provisions of this Title [R.S., 45014612], such shipping-commissioner may call upon the owner, or his agent, or upon the master, or any mate, or any other member of the crew, to produce any log-books, papers, or other documents in their possession or power, respectively, relating to any matter in question in such proceedings, and may call before him and examine any of such persons, being then at or near the place, on any such matter; and every owner, agent, master, mate, or other member of the crew who, when called upon by the shipping-commissioner, does not produce any such books, papers, or documents, if in his possession or power, or does not appear and give evidence, shall, unless he shows some reasonable cause for such default, be liable to a penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for each

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