Sivut kuvina

tion, who was unanimously elected. At this opening session the rules of procedure for the Conference were presented. They followed closely the rules of the 1913–14 Conference. A change of importance was in that article of the rules which made English and French both official languages. At the previous Conference French only was recognized as the official language. By vote passed at this first plenary session the duty of drafting a program for the Conference was placed upon a committee consisting of the chairmen of the delegations present at the Conference. As a result of action by the Committee of Chairmen, the following technical committees of the Conference were determined upon, i. e., (1) Ship Construction, (2) Life-saving Appliances, (3) Radiotelegraphy, (4) Safety of Navigation, and (5) Certificates. A (6) Committee on General Provisions and a (7) Drafting Committee were provided for later. The Committee of Chairmen also was given authority to designate the heads of these committees and by its action Rear Admiral George H. Rock of the Construction Corps of the Navy of the United States was named as chairman of the Committee on Ship Construction. The chairmen of the other committees were:

Committee on Life-saving Appliances: Sir Norman Hill of the
British delegation
Committee on Radiotelegraphy: Mr. Hermann Giess of the German
Committee on Safety of Navigation: Sir Charles Hipwood of the
British delegation
Committee on Certificates: Maj. Gen. F. Marena of the Italian
delegation -
Committee on General Provisions: Sir Charles Hipwood of the
British delegation
Committee on Drafting: Senator Rio of the French delegation

The chairmen of the several delegations at the Conference were asked to designate the members of their delegations to serve upon the Conference committees. With the approval of the delegation of the United States, I made assignments of delegates and technical assistants to each committee as follows:


Delegates Technical Assistants Rear Admiral George H. Rock Lieut. Commander E. L. CochMr. H. G. Smith rane Mr. H. B. Walker Mr. J. F. MacMillan Rear Admiral J. G. Tawresey Mr. David Arnott Mr. D. N. Hoover Mr. J. C. Niedermair

[ocr errors]


Delegates Technical Assistants
Mr. D. N. Hoover Capt. N. B. Nelson
Rear Admiral J. G. Tawresey Capt. W. E. Griffith
Capt. Charles A. McAllister Mr. A. J. Smith
Mr. H. B. Walker Mr. J. F. MacMillan
Mr. H. G. Smith Mr. David Arnott

Lieut. Commander E. L. Coch-

Delegates Technical Assistants
Mr. W. D. Terrell Lieut. E. M. Webster
Mr. H. B. Walker Capt. W. E. Griffith
Mr. A. J. Tyrer Mr. E. B. Calvert

Capt. Charles A. McAllister

Mr. D. N. Hoover


Delegates Technical Assistants
Capt. Clarence S. Kempff Capt. W. E. Griffith
Capt. Charles A. McAllister Commander C. M. Austin
Mr. H. B. Walker Mr. E. B. Calvert
Mr. H. G. Smith Lieut. E. M. Webster

Mr. J. F. MacMillan

Delegates Technical Assistants
Mr. A. J. Tyrer Capt. N. B. Nelson
Mr. Charles M. Barnes Capt. W. E. Griffith

Capt. Charles A. McAllister
Mr. D. N. Hoover


Delegates Technical Assistants

Hon. Wallace H. White, jr.
Mr. Charles M. Barnes

Delegates Technical Assistants

Hon. Wallace H. White, jr.
Mr. Charles M. Barnes

Upon the completion of the organization of the technical committees, those committees began the study of the proposals submitted. As the several technical committees completed their work and made their reports to the president of the Conference, these reports were read, discussed and acted upon at meetings of the delegation of the United States. Upon the conclusion of the work of the technical committees the Drafting Committee began its work. From time to time, as questions arose which could not be readily solved by the Drafting Committee, they were referred to a Committee of Five appointed by the Drafting Committee. Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and the United States were represented on this Committee of Five by the chairmen of their delegations. No alterations which appeared to result in changes in substance in the reports of the technical committees were agreed to by the United States members of the drafting committee which were not called to the attention of and which were not passed upon by the full delegation of the United States. The Conference concluded its work and the Convention as agreed to was signed on May 31. Every delegate present indicated his approval of the Convention by signature thereof. The Conference adjourned in the afternoon of May 31. A copy of the Convention is attached hereto and is marked “Exhibit C.” It was signed in French and English texts, both of which are of equal authority. The greatest care was taken that the French and English texts should be identical in meaning. The Final Act of the Conference,” signed at the same time and included in the document with the Convention, embraces certain supplementary agreements, declarations and recommendations made by the Conference or delegations thereof. The Convention consists of 66 articles grouped in eight chapters. It is completed by regulations which have the same force and take effect at the same time as the Convention itself. Chapter I contains certain preliminary articles. Of first importance is the article setting forth to what ships the Convention shall apply and carrying definitions used throughout the Convention. Chapter II deals with ship construction. This subject was considered by and the chapter was prepared by the committee of which Rear Admiral Rock of the delegation of the United States was chairman. Its work was technical in the extreme and the provisions of the chapter are of outstanding importance, for safety of life at sea in the first instance and in large degree depends upon the ship itself. The work of the committee divided itself into four main subjects: (a) that of subdivision of ships, (b) the structure and openings, (c) stability, and (d) the voyages. In very large measure the agreements reached by the Conference with respect to these subjects were responsive to proposals urged by the delegates of the United States

1 Post, p. 25. * Post, p. 230.

and it is believed that by this chapter of the Convention world standards of construction have been substantially raised. With few exceptions, the laws of the United States do not cover the requirements of this chapter, although in practice they are largely conformed to. The chapter deals with structural matters and applies in the main to ships built after July 1, 1931. With respect to existing ships, the obligation is imposed upon each government to effect upon its ships, so far as practicable and reasonable, the increased standards of safety recommended. The chapter covers in detail watertight subdivisions, peak and machinery space bulkheads, the rules for constructing and testing bulkheads, watertight decks, fireresisting bulkheads, the openings in bulkheads and ships' sides, exits from compartments, pumping arrangements, etc. It requires a stability test for every new ship, and initial and subsequent surveys for ships. In the regulations annexed to the Convention and having reference to this chapter, will be found the detailed provisions for making effective the general requirements of the Convention dealing with this matter of ship construction.

Chapter III of the Convention, as supplemented by regulations, deals with life-saving appliances and with fire detection and extinction. With respect to these subjects your delegation supported those safeguards which science, nautical experience and seamanship approve. This chapter and its regulations make provision for the lifeboats required on passenger ships, and for additional buoyant apparatus. They provide specifically that there must be accommodations in boats for all persons on board, and in addition, buoyant apparatus for 25 per centum of the persons on board. They deal with the construction of lifeboats, with the embarkation of passengers, with life-jackets and life-buoys, with means of ingress and egress for passengers and crew, with dangerous goods and fire protection, and with muster rolls and drills. In many respects this chapter raises world standards and the standards of the law of the United States.

Chapter IV relates to the subject of radiotelegraphy. The provisions of the chapter are supplemented by regulations. The 1914 Convention required a radio installation only if a ship had on board 50 or more persons. Radio installation under the law of the United States is required only on steam vessels having on board 50 or more persons. The law does not apply to sailing vessels carrying either passengers or cargo. It does not apply to the modern motor ship. There are many cargo ships of the United States of a tonnage of 6,000 to 8,000 tons and possibly up to 10,000 tons, which under the present law are not required to have radio installation because of the fact

1. Post, p. 98.

that such vessels will not have on board 50 or more persons and there are many passenger ships not reached by the law of this country. The present Convention requires, subject to definite exemptions, that all passenger ships and all cargo ships of 1,600 tons gross tonnage and over engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with radio installation. These new standards are much above those of the 1914 Convention and of the law of the United States. An interesting problem of the Conference was with respect to authorizing the use of an automatic radio alarm receiver. The Washington Radiotelegraph Convention of 1927, in section 21 of Article 19 of the General Regulations annexed thereto, specified standards which should be attained by any such automatic alarm receiver. The present Convention recognizes the use of any automatic alarm receiver meeting the specifications of the Washington Radiotelegraph Convention. It was believed that the recognition of this instrument would increase the number of ships which might hear a distress call, and so add to the margin of safety of all vessels. The general result of the provisions of the Convention relating to radiotelegraphy is that at least 1,000 vessels not now equipped with radio will be required to install radio apparatus and that many hundreds and perhaps thousands of vessels now maintaining a voluntary radio service of indifferent quality will be compelled to have an installation and to meet standards prescribed by the Convention. They make potential lifesavers of a vastly increased number of ships. Through the use of the automatic alarm continuous watch is assured upon many vessels not now required to maintain such watch. The whole effect of this chapter of the Convention, in the opinion of your delegation, is to elevate the legal standards of the world and of the United States. Chapter W of the Convention, and the regulations pertinent to the chapter, deal with the general subject of navigation. The provisions refer, unless express exception is made, to all ships on all voyages. Under this chapter provision is made for the collection and dissemination of meteorological data by ships at sea and for ships. The North Atlantic ice patrol established by the 1914 Convention is continued and its activities are enlarged. The question of routes across the Atlantic is dealt with. The chapter requires the equipment of passenger ships of 5,000 tons and over with the radio compass. The chapter also covers helm orders, alarm, distress and urgency signals, the misuse of distress signals, the speed of transmission of messages of distress, the procedure in handling messages, and includes an undertaking by each government to insure that ships shall be sufficiently and efficiently manned. Of outstanding importance in this chapter is the agreement in Article 40 that alterations in the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea should be made. In

« EdellinenJatka »