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HEARINGS

199
2137

BEFORE

4, S. Congress House

THE COMMITTEE ON
THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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HE 596

U

1925

COMMITTEE ON THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SIXTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION

GEORGE W. EDMONDS (Acting Chairman). LADISLAS LAZARO.
FRANK D. SCOTT.

EDWIN L. DAVIS.
WALLACE H. WHITE, JR.

SCHUYLER O. BLAND.
FREDERICK R. LEHLBACH.

CLAY STONE BRIGGS.
BENJAMIN L. ROSENBLOOM.

WILLIAM W. LARSEN.
ARTHUR M. FREE.

TOM D. MCKEOWN.
SID C. ROACH.

GEORGE W. LINDSAY.
CHARLES BRAND.

WILLIAM M. CROLL.
FRANK R. REID.

JEREMIAH E. O'CONNELL.
GEORGE M. WERTZ.

DAN A. SUTHERLAND.
ROBERT L. BACON.
CHARLES L. GIFFORD.

N. S. RICE, Acting Clerk.
II

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

RECEIVED

10 1925

DOCUMENTS DIVISION

RELATING TO THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA

COMMITTEE ON THE
MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Wednesday, January 28, 1925. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. George W. Edmonds (acting chairman) presiding:

Mr. EDMONDS. The meeting this morning is for the purpose of holding hearings on H. R. 11447, a bill relating to the carriage of goods by sea.

In order to get this thing straight before the committee and so that you may understand the situation, there were 22 or 24 nations that met in England in 1921, I think it was, or 1922, and again in 1923, undertaking to formulate a simplified bill of lading. I think I explained to the old committee that the bill of lading we have to-day is very large, contains lots of provisions, and there are lots of different bills of lading in use by different steamship companies, and the difficulties in insurance and banking are almost insurmountable, and it is printed so that it does not seem it is intended that anybody should read the bill of lading. I sat here one night attempting to read a bill of lading and I had to get a magnifying glass to read it, the print was so small, and it took me over an hour to read the bill of lading. The idea is to simplify the bill of lading, and these gentlemen met together and agreed upon general rules for the carriage of goods by sea.

Of course, so far as the Harter Act is concerned, it is now our law, and this affects the Harter Act from ship's tackle to ship's tackle. The Harter Act goes further than that and covers the goods on shore.

I might also say the bill has already been passed by a number of legislative bodies in the different countries, and has been passed by the British Parliament. To-day the British ships coming west or traveling out of England, or coming from other British countries, from Australia, are using this new bill of lading, which is of some advantage to the shipper of goods. In order to meet the conditions in England, England modified the proposition to some extent and, after a very exhaustive study, Doctor Huebner, who was employed at that time by the Shipping Board, modified the American rules to some extent.

You have the result of this work before you. I think the principal cause of contention in the bill to-day is, in all probability, the deviation clause, so far as any communications I have gotten, and the complaints on that, I think, are merely technical. What I think we are here to do is to get these hearings condensed as much as possible and, if the contention is on the deviation clause, let us thrash it out on that basis and get through with it as rapidly as we possibly can.

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