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believe that committing one wrong can be properly corrected by committing other wrongs of the same kind. The proper remedy is to repeal the amendment which inflicted the wrong. Therefore instead of extending the promotion, bonus, and largess to others who are not entitled to it your committee thinks it far preferable to undo the original mistake, and for all purposes the accompanying bill is liereby reported by substitute, that the substitute be adopted, and that the bill be passed.

Respectfully submitted.

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64TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 1st Session.

SPECIAL PERMITS FOR EXCURSIONS ON PASSENGER

STEAMERS.

APRIL 11, 1916.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. GREENE of Massachusetts, from the Committee on the Merchant

Marine and Fisheries, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 13831.]

The Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, to whom was submitted the bill relating to number of passengers to be stated in certificates of inspection of passenger vessels, and for other purposes, and amending sections 4464, 4465, and 4466 of the Revised Statutes of the United States

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-four hundred and sixty-four of the Revised Statutes of the United States be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

“SEC. 4464. The board of local inspectors shall state in every certificate of inspection granted to vessels carrying passengers, other than ferryboats, the number of passengers of each class that any such vessel has accommodation for and can carry with prudence and safety. They shall report their action to the supervising inspector of the district, who may at any time order the number of such passengers decreased, giving his reasons therefor in writing, and thereupon the board of local inspectors shall change the certificate of inspection of such vessel to conform with the decision of the supervising inspector. Whenever the allowance of passengers shall be increased by any board of local inspectors such increase shall be reported to the supervising inspector of the district, together with the reasons therefor, and such increase shall not becoine effective until the same has been approved in writing by the supervising inspector."

Sec. 2. That section forty-four hundred and sixty-five of the Revised Statutes of the United States be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

"Sec. 4465. It shall not be lawful to take on board of any vessel a greater number of passengers than is stated in the certificate of inspection, and for every violation of this provision the master or owner shall be liable to any person suing for the same to forfeit the amount of passage money and $10 for each passenger beyond the number allowed.

" The master or owner of the vessel, or either or any of them, who shall knowingly violate this provision shall be liable to a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment of not more than thirty days, or both."

Sec. 3. That section forty-four hundred and sixty-six of the Revised Statutes of the United States be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

" SEC. 4466. If any passenger vessel engages in excursions, the board of local inspectors shall issue to such vessel a special permit, in writing, for the occasion, in which shall be stated the additional number of passengers that may be carried and the number and kind of life-saving appliances that shall be provided for the safety of such additional passengers; and they shall also, in their discretion, limit the route and distance for such excursions: Provided, however, That the issuance of such special permit shall be reported by the board of local inspectors to the supervising inspector of the district, and such special permit shall not be effective until approved by the said supervising inspector." With the following amendments: Add, on page 3, line 8, after the word "passenger," the word " vessel"; and strike out on page 3, line 10, the word "steamer" and insert the word “vessel,” respectfully reports the same back to the House with the foregoing amendments, with the recommendation that the bill as amended do pass.

The reasons for the enactment of this measure arose from certain facts which were developed in the investigation of the Eastland disaster with its attendant loss of life at Chicago in July, 1915.

The hearings were held on the two bills, H. R. 4781 and H. R. 4785. There was considerable testimony relative to the necessity of the amendment of the Revised Statutes of the United States, numbered sections 4464, 4465, and 4466. The existing law provided that the power of determining the number of passengers which any vessel could carry resided in the board of local inspectors, and that the decision of that board should be final.

The Department of Commerce were firmly of the opinion that the supervising inspector should be consulted in all cases, and that his approval should be obtained before the number of passengers to be carried should be determined and made effective.

This measure provides for the proper safeguarding of human lives, and, it is believed, remedies some of the shortcomings of the existing law. It was believed by the committee that it was better to rewrite the bill, and consequently H. R. 13831 was introduced by Chairman Alexander, and said bill has the unanimous approval of the committee.

Appended will be found letters of the Secretary of Commerce, approving of the original bills (H. R. 4781 and H. R. 4785), and also letters from the Merchants' Association of New York and the Traffic Club of New York.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, December 20, 1915. MY DEAR JUDGE ALEXANDER: I am in receipt of yours of the 7th instant, asking me to give the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries the benefit of my opinion in regard to H. R. 4781, to amend sections 4464 and 4465 of the Revised Statutes, and as to the wisdom of enacting the same into law.

The object of these amendments is to make the sections apply to all classes of passenger vessels, including passenger steam vessels, passenger motor vessels, passenger sail vessels, and passenger barges of the kinds required to be inspected. In other words, it has the effect of covering the carrying capacity of all vessels carrying passengers, instead of limiting it to steamers only, as is done in the present sections. As vessels other than steamers are now also engaged in the business of carrying passengers, I see no reason why the laws should not be made applicable to them.

In the copy of the bill which you sent me, and as introduced, I noticed the words “other than ferryboats are incorporated. These words may have been in the bill as originally sent you by the department, but if so it was an error. It appears that there is, under this exemption in the law, no limit to the numler of persons a ferry steamer may carry. There is nothing to prevent such ferry from carrying passengers in excess of a safe limit, and it is to cure this dangerous condition that such words were intended by the department to be omitted from the new act.

The bill, with the exception of the above, in which I am sure you will agree with me, has my approval in every way, and I hope it will be enacted into law. Yours, very truly,

WILLIAM C. REDFIELD, Secretary. Hon. J. W. ALEXANDER,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, December 20, 1915. MY DEAR JUDGE ALEXANDER: I am in receipt of yours of the 17th instant, asking me to give to the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries the benefit of my opinion with reference to the merits of H. R. 4785, and as to the wisdom of enacting the same into law.

The provisions as contained in the proposed bill grew directly out of the investigation of the Eastland disaster. Section 4464 of the Revised Statutes places the carrying capacity of steamers other than ferryboats wholly within the power of the various local boards of inspectors. It appeared in the Eastland disaster, and also has appeared in other ways, that in a number of cases the various boards of local inspectors have increased the carrying capacity of steamers over that allowed by local boards granting the original certificate of inspection. You may possibly recall that at the Eastland investigation, in addition to the regular board of locals conducting the examination, an advisory board, consisting of Messrs. Marvin B. Poole, Harry Wheeler, and Lieut. Gov. O'Hara, all of Chicago, III., were requested by me to sit at the hearing as an advisory board, and that they actually did so. In addition to these gentlemen, Naval Constructor Ackerson and Naval Constructor Gillette, of the Lighthouse Service, also assisted. It was the opinion of these gentlemen, and in such opinion the department, through me, concurred, that this unlimited power as to carrying capacity should not rest wholly within the various boards of local inspectors, but should be subject to some check on the part of the supervising inspectors, and in a report this advisory committee so recommended. H. R. 4785 complies with the recommendation of the committee and seems to me to meet the situation. It has my utmost approval, and I earnestly hope that it will be enacted into law. Yours, very truly,

WILLIAM C. REDFIELD, Secretary. Hon. J. W. ALEXANDER,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

THE MERCHANTS' ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK,

New York, March 1, 1916. Hon. J. W. ALEXANDER, Chairman Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The Merchants' Association of New York urges that the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, in considering House bill No. 4781, amending the present regulations covering the carrying capacity of all vessels transporting passengers, amend the present bill by excepting ferryboats from its operation.

A goodly proportion of the transportation by ferryboats, throughout the country, takes place on the rivers of New York Harbor. A city of such size as New York, with such great commercial and industrial activity, attracts to it, and must depend upon, a large suburban population.

The daily transportation of this large population, under or across the rivers of the harbor of New York, is a serious problem, and, in spite of the tunnels thus far constructed, such transportation must still—and for a long time will

IR-64-1--vol 2-22

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