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SEC. 5. That any master or owner violating the provisions of this or the preceding section shall be liable to the penalty of two hundred dollars, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law. The Secretary of the Treasury shall have power to remit or mitigate any such penalty if in his opinion it was incurred without negligence or intention of frand.
SEC. 6. That this act shall not invalidate the bonds heretofore given under the requirements of law.
A BILL (H. R. 7045) to amend section forty-one hundred and thirty-six of the Revised Statutes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-one hundred and thirty-six of the Revised Statutes be amended so as to read:
"SEC. 4136. The Commissioner of Navigation may issue a register or enrollment for any vessel built in a foreign country, whenever such vessel shall be wrecked and shall be purchased and repaired in the United States by a citizen of the United States, if it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the repairs put upon such vessel are equal to three-fourths of the cost of the vessel when so repaired."
REPORTS OF U. S. SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS.
The 22 U. S. shipping commissioners have submitted annual reports of more than ordinary interest and value on the transactions of their respective offices for the past fiscal year. For readiness of reference the general statistics, tables of wages, and responses to specific inquiries have been tabulated and grouped, the report of the commissioner at New York alone being printed in full, as of special value in its elucidation of various matters entitled to the attention of Congress and of the country. The statistics, it should be borne in mind, while complete as to our transoceanic trade, full as to trade with the West Indies and British Possessions in North America, and general as to the coasting trade, convey no information concerning inland navigation. Except in the foreign trade, shipment of seamen before U. S. commissioners is a matter of voluntary agreement between the owner or master and the men, and it is thus within the power of the commissioners to report on the coasting trade and trade with the West Indies, Mexico, and British Possessions only in so far as use is made of the opportunity the Government affords for the shipment of crews before its commissioners. The large and growing commerce of the Great Lakes is not covered by the statistics and suggestions which follow, as there are no shipping commissioners on the lakes. River navigation is included only in the case of Mobile, where the practice of shipping crews for river steamers has been sanctioned by judicial decision, though it serves no necessary public purpose.
To prevent misunderstanding, it may be added that the statistics are based on shipments, and that as the same seaman may ship a dozen times at one port during the year or at a dozen different ports from time to time, the figures give only an approximation of the numerical strength of our merchant seamen. Thus, while 72,000 shipments in round numbers are reported, the number of seamen covered by these reports doubtless does not exceed 18,000.
At ports where no shipping commissioner is stationed, seamen may be shipped before customs officers. Inquiries addressed to 30 such seaports show that less than 500 shipments have been made, Eureka, Cal., reporting 88; Brunswick, Ga., 83; Portland, Oreg., 49; and Fernandina, Fla., 19. Most such ports return "no transactions."
It should also be observed that shipments before shipping commissioners and, to an inappreciable extent before customs officers, in the United States, do not include all shipments before officers of the Government. The practice of shipping parts of crews regularly in foreign seaports before U. S. consuls in the case of steamships is established and the shipments reach considerable proportions. Thus at Southampton during the last fiscal year the shipments for American steamships amounted to 8,535, a larger number of shipments than is returned by any shipping commissioner except at New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, and exceeding by over 1,000 even the shipments at New York for the foreign steam trade. This somewhat unusual fact is explained by the shipping commissioner at New York: "The New York's shipments vary from 58 to 238 out of a crew of a few more than 400. The Paris shipments varied from 53 to 103 out of a crew of the same size as the New York's. The rest of the crews of these two vessels have been engaged
at Southampton, England, before U. S. consul." Details of these shipments are given in a special report of the consul at Southampton in response to inquiry by this Bureau in later pages.
So, too, shipments for American steamers at Hongkong amounted to 637. The report of the U. S. shipping commissioner at San Francisco explains: "On steamers of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, engaged in the China trade, only part of the crew is shipped in San Francisco, viz, first, second, and third officers, four quartermasters, carpenter, main-deck watchman, chief and assistant engineers, water-tenders, oilers, stewards, and stewardess. All able seamen, firemen, coal-passers, cooks, and waiters are Chinese, and are shipped before the U. S. consul at Hongkong."
At Liverpool the shipments for American steamships for the fiscal year were 1,363, and at Antwerp 685, explained by the U. S. commissioner at Philadelphia: "On the steamships Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Illinois there are shipped before the commissioner first officers, second officers, third officers, surgeons, engineers, part of quartermasters, chief stewards, storekeepers, and mess men. In addition to the above the Ohio also ships before the commissioner butcher, cook, baker, and understewards. The. balance of crews on above vessels, consisting of seamen, firemen, coal-passers, part of quartermasters, and the balance of steward's department, are shipped before the U. S. consuls at the foreign ports which above vessels visit, viz, Liverpool, England, and Antwerp, Belgium.'
The following table shows total shipments for the year 71,499, against 68,555 total shipments for the fiscal year 1892-'93, a gain of nearly 3,000. San Francisco shows an increase of 1,200, Mobile of 2,000, Bath, Me., 1,100; Providence, 500, while New York shows a loss of 500 and Boston of 1,700, the latter partly attributable to the fact that reshipments were not included in the commissioner's return.
The number of shipments on steam vessels in foreign trade, where shipment before a United States officer is obligatory, is returned by the commissioners at 18,844. Roughly speaking, a seaman may be assumed on the average to make five voyages annually on a steamship in foreign trade, so that 4,500 is an ample estimate, allowing for repeated voyages of many seamen, of the number of our merchant seamen engaged on steam vessels in foreign trade, plus about 1,000 men shipped at Southampton, Hongkong, Liverpool, Antwerp, and Panama. The number of seamen on American merchant steamships in foreign trade during the last fiscal year was indisputably much less than 9,000, the statutory limit of the naval forces of the United States.
The shipments on steam vessels in the coasting trade are returned at 3,975, of which 2,765 are reported by Mobile. These Mobile shipments comprise the crews of river steamboats shipped several times a week, numbering all told about 50 or 60 men possibly, so that the figures under this head give no conception whatever of the number of men employed on steamers making short ocean voyages, as through Long Island Sound, from New York to New England or Southern ports, those on the Great Lakes, and on the larger rivers-vessels which constitute the great bulk of our steam tonnage.
The shipments on sailing vessels in foreign trade are returned at 13,265, and assuming three to five voyages per annum for the average seamen, a force not exceeding 4,000 is represented by these figures.
In the coasting trade, shipments for sailing vessels are returned at 35,290. Following is the table in detail:
Number of crews or parts of crews, and number of men shipped in foreign and coasting trade on steam and sailing vessels.
Following are the results of an endeavor to ascertain the nationality of seamen comprising our merchant marine. The articles of agreement signed before the shipping commissioner require the seaman to state his place of birth, and the following figures are based on such statements. Attention is invited to the remarks of the commissioners at New York and Providence on this subject. It appears to be a general custom among seamen shipping on American vessels to claim to be native born. At New York diligent and close scrutiny by the commissioner during the last uscal year shows 2,989 seamen of native birth shipped, while under a less rigorous examination during the previous year statement of native birth by 7,433 seamen was accepted. There has obviously been no such change in the proportion of nativeborn seamen shipping in New York during a twelvemonth, and in the figures which follow allowance for misstatement of American birth should offset in great part allowance for naturalization. The opportunities and inducements for the merchant seaman to naturalize are less than for the seaman in the Navy, and the necessity for legislative action in the case of the latter was recognized at the last session of Congress.
The number of shipments of Americans is reported at 22,143, and of Scandinavians 21,966, while all other foreigners are returned at 27,128. Besides these manning our merchant vessels are those shipped before the consuls already referred to, very few of whom are Americans.
Attention is directed to the significant fact, unsatisfactory though it be to national pride, that of shipments at Boston less than 5 per cent were Americans. For purposes of comparison the following is of use showing the number of British and foreign persons and the percentage of foreigners in the British merchant marine in foreign trade at stated periods:
[It is noted that the British naval estimates for 1894-'95 provide for 57,000 men to man war vessels, of whom 3,000 are officers, 48,000 are petty officers and seamen, and 4,500 boys.
The shipping owned at Hamburg is manned by 14,576 men. The shipments at Hamburg before the German Government bureau for the calendar year 1893 numbered 36,368, of whom 1,517 were foreigners. Of the foreigners 36 were Americans and 856 Scandinavians.]
Nativity of men shipped.
Americans. British. Germans. French. Swedes, Italians. national
The following tabulation gives the estimates of shipping commissioners in response to the Bureau's inquiry for the number of seamen, classed by nationality, usually in port, available for service at their respective ports. The figures, of course, are approximations based on the observation of commissioners. In round numbers, the deep-sea sailors ordinarily in port on the seaboard appear to be about 8,000, of whom nearly four-fifths are returned as foreigners.
Approximate number of able seamen usually available, classed as to nationality.
4. DISCHARGES AND EXPENSES.
The total number of men discharged and paid off before shipping commissioners during the fiscal year was 34,904 against 34,420 for the preceding fiscal year.
The total shipments and discharges for the fiscal year were 106,304 against 102,975 for the preceding fiscal year.
The total cost of the shipping commissioners' offices was $59,934.72, exclusive of the small cost of blanks, forms, books, etc., furnished by the Treasury.
The average cost for the service rendered by the Government to owners, masters, and seamen for each shipment or discharge was thus 56 cents, but in addition to these services the shipping commissioners, especially at the larger ports, have numerous duties, calling for the exercise of quasi-judicial, quasi-paternal, and police powers, which can not be reduced to figures, but are to be considered in an examination into the economies of the public service and an estimate of the return the country receives for its maintenance of these offices.
Number of crews and of men discharged from foreign or coasting voyages before shipping commissioners, total shipments and discharges, total expenses, and per capita cost of offices.
The following table gives the average number of men to a crew and the average number of men per 100 tons shipped before the commissioners. As already indicated, parts of crews, especially in the case of steamships in the foreign trade, are so often shipped, that the averages given are clearly below the actual averages for the manning of vessels. The averages also omit masters. The commissioner at Baltimore, from 20 sailing vessels in coasting trade, selected at random, for which full crews were shipped, reports an average of 1.30 men per 100 tons for coasting sail vessels. The average number of men per 100 tons, excluding masters, on British vessels in foreign trade is reported by the board of trade as follows: