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which vessels are moving in fog mist, falling snow, and thick weather, and at night; to compare and discuss the various systems employed for the saving of life and property from shipwreck, for reporting, marking, and removing dangerous wrecks or obstructions to navigation, for designating vessels, for conveying to mariners and persons interested in shipping, warnings of approaching storms, of dangers to navigation, of changes in lights, buoys, and other day and night marks, and other important information; and to formulate and submit for ratification to the Governments of all maritime nations proper international regulations for the prevention of collisions and other avoidable marine disasters.

It will be understood by all states taking part in this conference that no questions relating to the regulation of trade and commerce are within the scope of the discussion, and that in the disposition of any questions which may be presented to the conference, no State shall be entitled to more than one vote, whatever may be the number of delegates representing it.

You will make this invitation known to the Government by reading this note to the minister for foreign affairs, and if desired, you will leave a copy with him. Your own discretion will suggest to you the most effective manner of making known the great interest taken by the President in the benevolent purposes of the proposed con. ference, and his desire and confident expectation that, in the universal interest of sea-faring humanity, the Government of will receive and respond to our invitation in the same spirit in which it is extended. I am, sir, your obedient servant,



No. -)


Washington, January 15, 1889. To

etc., etc., etc.: SIR: Referring to my instruction No. of the 30th of July last, which directed you to tender to the Government of an invitation to be represented at an international conference to meet in the city of Washington, on Wednesday, the 17th day of April, 1889, for the purpose of securing greater safety for life and property at sea, I have now to inform you that, owing to the unexpected delay in receiving the responses of important maritime countries, and in particular that of Great Britain, and in view of the limited time remaining within which to prepare the programme of the subjects to be brought before the conference, and communicate the same to the several Governments for their information and use in instructing their delegates, the President has deemed it advisable to postpone the meeting of the conference

until a later date permitting the seasonable completion of the necessary preliminary arrangements.

By direction of the President, therefore, I have to request you to inform the Government of -, through the minister for foreign affairs, that the meeting of the Conference in question, which was set for the 17th of April next, is postponed until some time in the early autumn of this year, 1889, and that the date, when fixed, will be communicated as soon as possible. I am, sir, your obedient servant,



Washington, February 27, 1889. The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the and has the honor to inform him that the date for the meeting of the International Conference to be held in the city of Washington for the purpose of securing greater safety for life and property at sea, has now been fixed by the President for Wednesday, October 16, 1889; that the President has appointed as delegates on the part of the United States:

Rear-Admiral Samuel R. Franklin, U. S. Navy; Commander William T. Sampson, U. S. Navy; Sumner I. Kimball, General Superintendent United States Life-Saving Service ;. James W. Norcross; John W. Shackford ; William W. Goodrich, and Clement A. Griscom; and that these delegates have been directed to assemble in Washington at an early day with a view to formulating the definite programme of the Conference.

The Governments of Brazil, Chili, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hawaii, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Spain, Sweden and Norway, and Uruguay, have expressed their intention of being represented at the Conference.

The minister of the United States at has been instructed to communicate these facts to the minister of foreign affairs in that capital.




Washington, April 3, 1889. SIR: I have the honor to inform you that, in conformity with the instructions of the State Department of February 27, 1889, the delegates on the part of the United States to the International Marine Conference met on Monday, 25th ultimo, organized, and proceeded to the consideration of a detailed programme of the subjects to be considered by the International Conference for transmission to the several powers.

This programme was completed on the 30th ultimo and is herewith inclosed.

The correspondence between the State Department and the British Government on this subject was examined, and in conformity with the intentions of our Government therein expressed, a consideration of the “International Code of Flag Signals” was excluded from the programme and a consideration of the “load line” was included. With this exception and this addition, the entire subject matter of the act of Congress of July 9, 1888, was arranged in general divisions, following as nearly as possible the precise language of the act. These general divisions were then carefully considered and each was arranged under subdivisions and subheads.

It is believed that this arrangement in detail is sufficiently broad to include all matters bearing directly upon the principal topics, and care has been taken at the same time to avoid extending the field of deliberations of the Conference beyond the limits indicated in the act of Congress and its interpretation by the State Department. Very respectfully,


Rear-Admiral, U. S. N.,

President of the Board of American Delegates. Hon. JAMES G. BLAINE,

Secretary of State.



1 Framed by the American delegates, in accordance with instructions from the Department of State,

March, 1889.)

GENERAL DIVISION 1. Marine signals or other means of plainly indicating the direction in which

vessels are moving in fog, mist, falling snow, and thick weather, and at night.



1. Visibility, number, and position of lights to be carried by vessels.

(a) Steamers under way.
(6) Steamers towing.
(c) Vessels under way, but not under command, including

steamers laying cable.
(d) Sailing vessels under way.
(e) Sailing vessels towing.
(f) Vessels at anchor.
(9) Pilot vessels.
(h) Fishing vessels.

2. Sound-signals; their character, number, range, and position of in

(a) For use in fog, mist, falling snow, and thick weather, as posi-

tion signals.
For steamer's under way.
For steamers towing.
For sailing vessels under way.

For sailing vessels towing.
(These signals to show the approximate course steered, if possible.)

For vessels at anchor.
For vessels under way, but not under command, including

steamers laying cable.
(6) For use in all weathers as helm signals only.

For steamers meeting or crossing.
For steamers overtaking.

For steamers backing.
(c) Whether helm signals shall be made compulsory or remain

optional. 3. Steering and sailing rules. (a) Sailing vessels meeting, crossing, overtaking, or being over

taken by each other. (6) Steamers meeting, crossing, overtaking, or being overtaken

by each other. (c) Sailing vessels, crossing, overtaking, or being overtaken by

steamers. (d) Steamers meeting, crossing, overtaking, or being overtaken

by sailing vessels.
(e) Special rules for channels and tide-ways, where no local rules

(f) Conflict of international and local rules.
(9) Uniform system of commands to the helm.
(1) Speed of vessels in thick weather.


Regulations to determine the sea-worthiness of vessels. (a) Construction of vessels. (6) Equipment of vessels. (c) Discipline of crew. (d) Sufficiency of crew. (e) Inspection of vessels. (f) Uniform certificates of inspection.

Draft to which vessels should be restricted when loaded.
Uniform maximum load mark.


Uniform regulations regarding the designating and marking of vessels. (a) Position of name on vessels. (b) Position of name of port of registry on vessels. (c) Size of lettering. (d) Uniform system of draft marks.


Saving life and property from shipwreck. 1. Saving of life and property from shipwreck at sea.

(a) Duties of vessels after collision.
(b) Apparatus for life saving to be carried on board ship. (Life-

boats, life-preservers, life-rafts, puups, and fire-extinguish

ing apparatus.)
(c) The use of oil and the necessary apparatus for its use.

(d) Uniform inspections as to (b) and (c). 2. Saving of life and property from shipwreck by operations from shore. (a) Organization of, and methods employed by, life-saving insti

tutions. (b) The employment of drilled and disciplined crews at life-saving

stations. (c) The maintenance of a patrol upon dangerous coasts by night,

and during thick weather by day, for warning off vessels

standing into danger, and for the early discovery of wrecks. (d) Uniform means of transmitting information between stranded

vessels and the shore. (e) Life-boats, life-saving apparatus and appliances. 3. Official inquiries into causes and circumstances of shipwrecks and

other casualties.


Necessary qualifications for officers and seamen, including tests for sight

and color-blindness.

(a) A uniform system of examination for the different grades. (6) Uniform tests for visual power and color-blindness. (c) General knowledge of methods employed at life-saving stations. (d) Uniform certificates of qualification.


Lanes for steamers on frequented routes.

(a) With regard to the avoidance of steamer collisions. (6) With regard to the safety of fishermen.

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