Imágenes de páginas

and stern-posts, as we thought that was unnecessary. Probably in most large vessels this would be the practice. I might also say that the size of the letters was not prescribed, as it is usual in marking in feet to make the figures six inches high, so that the top of the figure shall mark one-balf a foot or six inches. But on small vessels this might not be considered best, and as the draft is simply for the information of those who are concerned in the draft of water of the ship, as a pilot when taking ber into a barbor or in docking a ship, it was not deemed necessary to make the figures so large as in marking the name of the vessel.

The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the adoption of the second proposition of the report of the Committee on General Division 4.

Admiral BOWDEN-SMITH (Great Britain). Mr. President, may I ask for information why they are to be marked in Roman and Arabic characters? If they are to be marked in that way, why not in Chinese or Siamese 1

Captain SAMPSON (United States). Mr. President, I will answer the gallant delegate from England that the committee were of the opinion that they should be marked in either one or the other, and that either would be well understood. Of course a ship marked in Chinese numerals would hardly be understood by pilots in other parts of the world.

The PRESIDENT. The Secretary will please read the second proposi. tion.

The second proposition of the Committee on General Division 4 is as follows:

“2. The draft of every registered vessel shall be marked upon the stem and stern-post in English feet or decimeters, in either Arabic or Roman numerals. The bottom of each numeral shall indicate the draft to that line."

Lieutenant BEAUGENCY (Chili). Mr. President, I think it would avoid confusion if the marking of these ships were made in feet or centimeters, and that those marked in English feet were marked in the Arabic numer. als, and those in centimeters were marked in the Roman numerals.

Captain SAMPSON (United States). Mr. President, I will say that this was a subject of discussion in the committee and they thought it best not to place that restriction upon the method of marking vessels. It has its advantages, as pointed out by the gallant delegate from Chili, and I am sure that the committee will have no objection to adopting such a rule if the Conference see fit to do so. Of course this would probably necessitate the changing of the marking on vessels now afloat.

Lieutenant BEAUGENCY (Chili). Mr. President, it would change the marking on the ships now afloat, but that is a very easy matter. When they come into dock there can be a new marking put on them.

The PRESIDENT. The delegate from Chili proposes that vessels marked in feet shall be marked with Roman numerals and those marked in centimeters shall be marked with Arabic characters.

Captain SAMPSON (Cnited States). Mr. President, it is just the other way, I think.

. The PRESIDENT. Will the delegate from Chili be kind enough to put his motion in writing, so that we can understand it? The delegate from Chili proposes to mark the vessels whose draft is given in English feet with Arabic characters, and those given in centimeters with Roman characters.

Captain SAMPSON. (United States). Mr. President, I would like to point out that that would necessitate very great changes.

Captain SHACKFORD (United States). Nearly all vessels in England are marked just exactly the contrary way now.

Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, I think the vast majority of vessels are marked in Roman numerals, and the result of this proposition would be that a great many vessels would have to be changed.

Captain SAMPSON (United States). Mr. President, I do not think it would be practicable to do that, because a ship which is drawing 60 or 70 centimeters would require very large numbers, which would take up a foot or two, to mark the draft of the ship.

The PRESIDENT. Is the Conference ready for the question ?

Mr. VERBRUGGHE (Belgium). Mr. President, will the gallant delegate from Chili limit his amendment to a recommendation, as I consider it to be very good! But I am unable to vote for it, because there is no way that we can oblige all vessels to change their marks. Perhaps the gallant delegate from Chili would be satisfied if we should say that such a thing was recommended. But if we have to vote upon the proposition as it stands, I shall be obliged to vote against it.

The PRESIDENT. Does the delegate from Chili accept the suggestion of the delegate from Belgium, to let it be inserted in the protocol as a recommendation, or does he wish to have a vote taken upon it?

Lieutenant BEAUGENCY (Chili). Mr. President, I am very sorry I can not accept the suggestion of the honorable delegate from Belgium, because I think it important to know whether a ship is to be marked in feet or centimeters. I hope you will allow me to have a vote upon my amendment.

The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the amendment of the dele. gate from Chili, who proposes that ships whose draft is given in English feet shall be marked with Arabic characters and those given in centimeters with Roman characters.

Captain SHACKFORD (United States). Mr. President, before a vote is taken upon that I would like to call attention to the fact that this is exactly the contrary to the way in which vessels are marked now.

Lieutenant BEAUGENCY (Chili). Let them change.

Mr. HALL (Great Britain). Mr. President, may I point out that there is no proposal bere to mark them in centimeters.

The PRESIDENT. The delegate from Chili proposes to have a ship's

draft which is given in English feet marked in Roman characters and those given in centimeters in Arabic characters. That is the proposi. tion now before the Conference. The Chair has put the proposition the other way and it was decided that it was not the correct way. Now I put it in this way, which the delegate from Chili proposes.

Captain RICHARD (France). Mr. President, I have no objection to vote for the decimeters in Arabic figures, because that is the method which we employ in France. Consequently our interests are entirely protected and we would have to make no change and therefore no expense in order to conforin to the rule laid down in the proposition of the honorable delegate from Chili. But if you ask us to mark our deci. meters in Roman numbers, then I will vote against the proposition, because we would be obliged to change our system of numbering. If, therefore, the decimeters should be marked in Arabic numbers I see no reason to make any objection in behalf of our delegation. It will only be for our colleagues from Great Britain to show how they will accommodate themselves to Arabic numbers to express in feet how much water a vessel draws.

Mr. VERBRUGGHE (Belgium). I will vote in the same manner.

Mr. Hall (Great Britain). Mr. President, may I represent the other horn of the dilemma. My gallant friend, the delegate from France, objects to the proposal to mark centimeters in Roman letters because he says the vessels are numbered in a different way now in his country. In England it is just the reverse. The Roman letters are used, and I shall object if the proposal is for the figures to be marked in Arabic letters. So I am sure that my gallant friend, the delegate from Chili, is on the horns of this dilemma, and either France must vote against him or England must vote against him, and I think he must take his choice.

Captain SAMPSON (United States). Mr. President, it seems to me that this discussion shows very clearly that the rule which the Committee recommended is the only one which can be adopted.

The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the motion of the delegate from Chili that the English feet should be designated in Roman letters and the centimeters in Arabic numerals.

Lieutenant BEAUGENCY (Chili). Mr. President, in this case, after the very important reasons which the delegate from England has advanced, I withdraw my amendment.

The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the second proposal of the committee.

The question was put to the Conference upon the adoption of the second proposal of the Committee on General Division 4, and it was adopted.

The PRESIDENT. The Secretary will please read the first paragraph of the report upon General Division 6.

The first paragraph is as follows:


Necessary qualifications for officers and seamen, including tests for sight

and color-blindness.

"(a) A uniform system of examination for the different grades. (b) Uniform tests for visual power and color blindness. «ic) General knowledge of methods employed at life-saving stations. id) Uniform certificates of qualification. “1. Every man or boy going to sea as a seaman, or with the intention of becoming a seaman, should be examined for visual power and colorblindness; and no man or boy should be permitted to serve on board any vessel in the capacity of seaman, or where he will have to stand lookout, whose visual power is below one-half normal or who is red and green color-blind."

Captain RICHARD (France). Mr. President, I hope that my colleagues on the committee will bear me no grudge if I allow myself a slight criticism on General Division 6. This division contains, as you will see in the programme, four subdivisions (a, b, c, and d) which must be treated separately. In the first place there is the system of general examination for the various grades; then that which concerns visual power and color-blindness; third, the general knowledge of the methods employed at life-saving stations, and lastly, fourth, what may be said in favor of uniform certificates for masters of merchant and coasting vessels, etc. I do not know whether the committee was embarrassed in its work, but I clearly see that in this entire chapter there is no question of anything else than color-blindness. It considers that there is no other impediment to sailors exercising their calling than color-blindness, and it starts in by saying: “That every man or boy going to sea with the intention of becoming a sailor shall be examined for visual power and color-blindness, and no man may serve on board of a vessel if he suffers from color-blindness."

Very well. Is it always in every one's power to choose his profession and can any one be a sailor who wishes to be? Most assuredly the majority of those who go to sea would prefer, probably, to be bankers, barristers, advocates, or presidents of some large corporation. But they are born of a family of sailors; they are well built, vigorous, they have a good constitution, and they go to sea because their family has a craft to receive them and to teach them the hard apprenticeship of their life's calling. Should there be any worry as to whether they are afflicted with color-blindness! Never since the world's existence has it been possible to claim that a person affiicted with color blindness should not be a sailor. Does color-blindness unfit him for a fisherman ; does it prevent him from holding a line; does it prevent him from throwing out a net, from cutting open a cod, from harpooning a whale, or from any other occupation of the same kind? I would like to know what in. duced the committee to make this rule. I would like to kuow why you

are going to prevent men from earning their bread and to say to them, "My son, inasmuch as you can not distinguish a red light from a green light, you are forbidden to earn your bread in the only way that it is easy for you to do." I, for my part, can not accept such a theory.

In France there is the Inscription Maritime, and from Dunkirk to Nice we have sailors who are sailors because they are born of sailors' families and who commenced their calling in their tender years. They can not change their profession, as you seem to think, because they are afflicted with color-blindness. Instead of being so severe upon color-blindness the committee should have shown itself more indulgent, and it should have allowed its severity to rest upon the examination for various grades. It should have told us that there are in this world improvised merchant captains who have no certificate and who command vessels without any guaranty, thereby endangering the existence of their own crey and threatening the existence of the crews of other vessels. I think that the attention of the committee should have been directed with greater severity towards paragraph a, which treats of that subject, than to paragraph 1. They might then have better earned the gratitude of humanity.

Because a person is afflicted with color-blindness he is not blind; his eye-sight is not bad. Such a person can see very clearly in the day-time, and also during the night. And if we make of color-blindness a latent defect so as to prevent a man from pursuing his calling we might on the other hand reproach ourselves and say that inasmuch as there are people who are afflicted with color-blindness, instead of prescribing red or green lights the Conference should have invented a system of lights which will allow of no possible confusion even to persons afflicted with color-blindness. But to say that a man may not follow the sea because he is afflicted with color-blindness is enough to nullify the entire paragraph. I think that the committee made a mistake by recommending such a measure. You can not make sailors as you can tin soldiers. A man is a sailor because he has been trained that way. If you can assure those whom you reject a happier means of existence, one which is easier and less burdensome, certainly no one will hesitate to adopt your proposition. But until such a thing is practicable let it rest.

Mr. VERBRUGGHE (Belgium). Mr. President, I think that the discussion has elucidated the question as to how we are to understand the paragraph in regard to which we are about to vote, but the argument presented by the gallant delegate from France remains entirely intact. It only remains to be explained why the committee limited itself to requiring only certain physical conditions from sailors. It does not say why it has not imposed conditions of capacity upon those who are intrusted with the management of a vessel. I confirm absolutely all that has been said on that subject by the gallant delegate from France.

In regard to voting for the conclusions of the report, I am not at all embarrassed. In my country an examination is required for color

« AnteriorContinuar »