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pose that we use the definition and say, instead of fuerza mayor, just what fuerza mayor means, and that will be understood clearly by all the nations represented in this Conference. We could simply say that it would be an act that could not be foreseen or prevented. If we just insert these words, that will be entirely satisfactory, I think, for all the members.
When my colleague from Colombia presented an amendment yesterday I mentioned to Mr. Quintana that for my part, as a member of the committee, I would accept it on the condition that I could recommend that which I had proposed. I had just proposed something similar. I feared a vessel would go into port under stress of weather, but that port would not be the port of destination of the vessel, and the very fact of the stress of the storm would make that vessel free of the tonnage which it would otherwise have to pay under the law. I recommend, therefore, that vessels under stress of weather, which have been compelled to change their course, be specified. That was, I think, the amendment which I proposed; so when I read the recommendation of my colleague from Colombia, that was my opinion in the matter. For that reason I have just now given the explanation I have. But in regard to the use of the words “fuerza mayor,” I think we can give the definition in place of the words. I think that the compulsion, resulting from the act of a pirate, needs a distinction, not being a lawful case. It is not, as he very well said, a legal compulsion, but if the victim has not strength enough to resist and no way of avoiding the pirate, I think it is a case against the pirate. I think also that it is a case of "fuerza mayor,” although not a lawful case. With that limitation, I am entirely of this opinion with regard to the matter: All lawful acts are acts under the “fuerza mayor” compulsion.
Mr. ROMERO. I take the floor simply to say that, carrying out the opinion expressed by the honorable delegate from Brazil, I have written the form the article should have in the following terms:
Vessels which, from any unforeseen and irresistible cause, shall be compelled to put into port, deviating from their course. That is to say, the phrase fuerza mayor is substituted by “unforeseen and irresistible cause.”
Mr. HURTADO. Following the idea of the honorable delegate from Nicaragua, I have no objection to change the phrase “fuerza mayor,” and if it is thought that it does not properly express the idea entertained by the Conference, it may be put in this wise:
Vessels putting into port, from whatever justifiable cause or necessity, deviating from their course, shall be exempt from dues.
Mr. COOLIDGE. I would be glad to accept the change suggested by the honorable delegate from Mexico.
SECRETARY WHITEHOUSE. As follows, is article 5, clause 3, of the report of port dues, submitted yesterday:
Vessels which by any unforeseen and irresistible cause shall be compelled to put into port, deviating from their course.
The FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT. The honorable delegate from Mexico, if the Chair is not in error, has proposed that the Conference resolve that by “fuerza mayor" is meant what in his motion is expressed.
Mr. Romero. No, sir ; but rather that in case the vote be reconsidered and the point is put to the vote, the third clause, in so far as its wording is concerned, be substituted by that I have proposed.
The First VICE-PRESIDENT. Then it will be necessary to reconsider, not the whole report, but that
Mr. ROMERO. Yes, sir ; only that part.
The First VICE-PRESIDENT. The honorable delegate from Mexico moves that the third clause of the fifth article of the report approved yesterday be reconsidered.
The vote will be taken on the motion.
This part of the report adopted on yesterday will be reconsidered.
The honorable delegate from Mexico moves that in place of the clause approved there be inserted the following:
Vessels which from any unforseen and irresistible cause shall be compelled to put into port, deviating from their course.
The discussion of the third clause, so worded, is in order.
If no delegate claims the floor the vote will be taken.
If there be unanimous consent the roll will not be called.
The Chair hears no objection.
RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO PORT DUES AS ADOPTED BY THE
CONFERENCE. The International American Conference hereby resolve to recommend to the Governments therein represented
First. That all port dues be merged in a single one, to be known as tonnage dues.
Second. That this one charge shall be assessed upon the gross tonnage, or, in other words, upon the total carrying capacity of the vessel.
Third. That each Government fix for itself the amount to be charged as tonnage dues, but with due regard to the general policy of the Conference upon the subject, which is to facilitate and favor navigation.
Fourth. That there be excepted from the provisions of article 1 the dues charged or to be charged under unexpired contracts with private companies.
Fifth. That the following shall be exempt from tonnage dues :
1. Transports and vessels of war.
3. Vessels which from any unforeseen and irresistible cause shall be compelled to put into port, deviating from their course.
4. Yachts and other pleasure boats.
SESSION OF MARCH 25, 1890. The PRESIDENT. The order of the day is the report of the Committee on Port Dues, on Consular Fees. . The Secretary will read the conclusions.
The Secretaries read the conclusions of the following report:
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON PORT DUES CONCERNING
[As submitted to the Conference March 20, 1890, and adopted March 25,
The honorable Conference has instructed this committee to consider and propose the most practicable method of establishing a uniform system of consular fees.
The study of the various regulations which the committee has been able to examine, has led it to the conclusion that within the limits assigned to it, the desired result could only be secured in a partial and incomplete manner.
Inasmuch as the fees or compensation allowed to consuls depend upon the nature of the services they render, it is necessary that the acts of the consular agents of the different nations represented in the Conference be of the same nature, in order that the fees charged by them may be equal and uniform.
It is this prerequisite which is lacking in the present consular regulations.
With the exception of acts specially referring to navigation and commerce, respecting which it would be very easy to establish a uniformity of fees, there are many acts. which either only exist in the rules of one of the nations