Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

RULES FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 1938

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Edward J. Hart presiding. (The bill S. 1273 and reports thereon are as follows:)

[8. 1273, 75th Cong., 1st sess.)

AN ACT To adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Rules and Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, appearing in Annex II, as amended, of the Convention for Promoting Safety of Life at Sea, signed at London May 31, 1929, and proclaimed by the President of the United States September 30, 1936, so far as the same are applicable are hereby adopted and approved as the rules and regulations of the United States applying to all public and private vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith, navigable by seagoing vessels.

SEC. 2. Said rules and regulations shall become of full force and effect upon proclamation thereof by the President.

Sec. 3. The Act of Congress approved August 19, 1890, entitled "An Act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea”, and all laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the rules and regulations contained in said Annex II are hereby repealed, said repeal to take effect upon issuance of the proclamation by the President authorized by section 2 hereof.

Passed the Senate July 22 (calendar day, August 6), 1937.
Attest:

EDWIN A. HALSEY, Secretary.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, December 1, 1937. Hon. S. O. BLAND, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In your letter dated August 11, 1937, you requested the views and recommendations of the Department with regard to S. 1273, a bill to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

Enclosed is a memorandum from the Acting Director of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, this Department, in which I concur. The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there would be no objection by that office to the presentation of this memorandum to your committee. Cordially yours,

J. M. JOHNSON, Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION,

Washington, August 14, 1937. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

At the request of the Solicitor of the Department, this Bureau submits the following comments on the merits of S. 1273, Seventy-fifth Congress, first session, an act to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

1

Section 1 of the present act provides that the rules and regulations for preventing collisions at sea appearing in annex II, as amended, of the Convention for Promoting Safety of Life at Sea, so far as the same are applicable, are adopted. The language used in this section is not clear. Annex II of the Convention for Promoting Safety of Life at Sea is published with that convention. Annex II as amended has been printed, insofar as this Bureau is able to ascertain, only in a pamphlet entitled “Revised International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea," published at London in August 1932.

It would appear that the present bill should contain the rules and regulations for preventing collisions at sea which it is intended to enact in order that there may be no mistake in this regard. The phrase "so far as the same are applicable” contained in line 7, page 1, of the act needs explanation.

It is further to be noted that the rules and regulations contained in the act are to be made applicable "to all public and private vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith, navigable by seagoing vessels." The language used in the international rules of 1890 is identical in this respect. However, attention is called to the fact that the international rules of 1890 were made effective on August 19, 1890. Subsequent to that date on June 7, 1897, regulations for preventing collisions on vessels navigating all harbors, rivers, and inland waters of the United States, except the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal and the Red River of the North and rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries, were enacted.

On February 8, 1895, rules for preventing collisions to be followed in the navigation of all public and private vessels of the United States upon the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal were enacted.

On June 7, 1897, sections 4233 and 4412 of the Revised Statutes were amended so that the rules for preventing collisions on the water contained in those sections and the rules and regulations made thereunder were at that time made applicable to the Red River of the North and the rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries. The foregoing rules for inland waters and for the Great Lakes, and for the Red River of the North, and rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries, were all declared special rules duly made by local authority relative to the navigation of harbors, rivers, and inland waters as provided for in the act of August 19, 1890.

The present act, section 3, proposes to repeal the act of August 19, 1890, and does not definitely provide that the various special rules duly made by local authority relative to the navigation of harbors, rivers, and inland waters as provided for in the act of 1890, shall continue in force, although the present act is subsequent to their enactment and probably by implication, at least, repeals those acts.

It is strongly urged that in order to avoid any possibility of future misunderstanding the act should definitely state that nothing contained therein shall be deemed to amend or alter in any way those special rules duly made by local authority relative to the navigation of harbors, rivers, and inland waters as provided for in the act of August 19, 1890.

This Bureau is opposed to the passage of the act in its present form.

The Bureau does not anticipate that the act, if enacted into law, will increase the expenses of the Government.

E. I. CORNBROOKS, Acting Director.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., September 25, 1937.
Hon, SCHUYLER OTIS BLAND,
Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have your letter of August 11, requesting my views concerning the bill (S. 1273) to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

An International Convention for Promoting Safety of Life at Sea, to which the United States is a party, was signed at London on May 31, 1929. After the usual ratification it was proclaimed by the President on September 30, 1936, with certain reservations. The bill under consideration proposes to adopt and approve the rules appearing in annex II of the convention as the rules and regulations of the United States applying to all public and private vessels of the United States

on the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels.

The regulations relate to such matters as lights, fog signals, speed to be maintained in fog, steering and sailing rules, sound signals,

distress signals, etc. I find no objection to the enactment of the bill. Sincerely yours,

Homer Cummings,

Attorney General.

UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION,

Washington, August 21, 1937. Hon. S. O. BLAND, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This will acknowledge your communication of August 11, 1937, requesting the views and recommendations of the Commission with respect to S. 1273, a bill to adopt regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

The purpose of this bill is to enact into law the revised international regulations for preventing collisions at sea, as set forth in annex II to the 1929 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, including certain amendments, which were subsequently agreed upon in negotiations with the various governments concerned. It is believed to be desirable that the Revised Regulations, as amended, be adopted and approved. However, in the opinion of the Commission it is preferable to have such Revised Regulations, as amended, incorporated verbatim in the proposed act so that there would be no such uncertainty as to the exact provisions which are intended to be included as would appear to result from the language in the present bill which refers to the regulations as “annex II , as amended,” without specifying what amendments are included, and then adding "so far as the same are applicable." The inclusion of the proposed Revised Regulations verbatim in the act would remove all such uncertainty. That method would be the same as employed in 1890 (U. S. C., title 33, ch. 2) in enacting the international regulations agreed upon at the 1889 Washington Conference, and as employed in subsequent years in enacting the various special rules for our harbors, rivers, and inland waters (U. S. C., title 33, chs. 3, 4, and 5).

The bill recites that the rules and regulations are to apply to all vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith, navigable by seagoing vessels. The Commission assumes that it is intended that the proposed Revised Regulations are to be applicable only to those waters to which the existing international regulations apply, and that there is no intention of having the proposed act change the special rules and regulations for our various harbors, rivers, and inland waters, which are contained in statutes enacted after the statute (1890) adopting the international rules for American vessels on the high seas (U. S. C., title 33, chs. 3, 4, and 5). It is noted that although article 30 of the proposed Revised Regulations (as well as article 30 of the existing regulations), provides that "nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of a special rule, duly made by local authority, relative to the navigation of any harbor, river, or inland waters," the pertinent section of the United States Code, when it was enacted in 1926, contained a proviso for the apparent purpose of making it clear that the international regulations were not to apply to the harbors, rivers, or inland waters for which there were special regulations. The section and the proviso, as contained in the code (U. S. C., title 33, ch. 2, sec. 61), reads as follows:

“The following regulations for preventing collisions at sea shall be followed by all public and private vessels of the United States upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith, navigable by seagoing vessels: Provided, That such regulations shall not apply to the harbors, rivers, and inland waters of the United States, nor to the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal, nor to the Red River of the North and rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico and their tributaries, insofar as special rules are adopted in pursuance of article 30."

In order to remove any question as to the future status of the special rules, it is believed advisable that the present bill should contain some precautionary proviso such as the one just quoted.

If the present bill is amended for the purpose of including the verbatim provisions of the Revised Regulations, as amended, it would appear to be necessary to change slightly the language of section 3 of the bill to meet the changed situation. Very sincerely yours,

EDWARD C. MORAN, Jr.,

Acting Chairman.

« EdellinenJatka »