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LONDON, December 16th, 1912.

President of the Chamber of Commerce,

New York. I desire to express to your Chamber sincere condolence with the American people's great loss sustained in the death of Mr. WHITELAW Reid, whose powerful influence in his distinguished position has always been exerted in furtherance of the best interests of our countries, social and material.


President of the London Chamber.

NEW YORK, December 18th, 1912. LORD DESBOROUGH, President of the Chamber of Commerce,

London. Your message of sympathy on the death of Ambassador Reid is deeply appreciated. It is fresh evidence of the strong friendship which exists between our countries and which the London Chamber of Commerce has always been pronipt to manifest. Your warm and well deserved tribute to MR. Reid will be communicated to the members and the public.


President of the New York Chamber.


MR. FAIRCHILD on behalf of the Executive Committee presented the following report and moved its adoption :

To the Chamber of Commerce :

In accordance with the instructions of the Chamber the Executive Committee has prepared an abstract of the report of the Arbitration Board in the recent dispute between the Eastern railroads and their engineers; and it recommends that this abstract be printed in the next number of the Bulletin for the benefit of the members.

оту The Committee also recommeuds for adoption the following preamble and resolutions relating to this arbitration, substantially in the form in which they were presented by MR. HEPBURN at the December meeting, and referred by it to this committee for consideration :

Whereas, In April, 1912, the representatives of fifty-two railroads known as the Eastern district, and the engineers employed thereon, failed to agree upon a proposed wage scale resulting in a threatened strike involving 47.3 per cent. of the ton miles, and 42.8 per cent. of the passenger miles of all the railroads of the United States :

Whereas, The proposed strike involved a probable loss of life, much suffering and immense loss of property, and was finally averted by consenting to arbitration by a commission :

Whereas, The Chief Justice of the United States, the Presiding Judge of the Commerce Court, the U. S. Commissioner of Labor, on April 30, 1912, selected and appointed a Board composed of the following distinguished citizens : Hon. Oscar S. Straus of New York, DR. CHARLES R. Van Hiss of Madison, Wisconsin, MR. FREDERICK N. JUDSON of St. Louis, DR. ALBERT Suaw of New York, and MR. OTTO M. Eilitz of New York; and the Commission thus constituted held its first meeting July 12, 1912, and continued the work until its findings were made public early in November, 1912;

Whereas, This commission at serious personal inconvenience rendered a great public service when urgently needed, declining any compensation, and whereas their conclusions and recommendations are the most important that have been suggested for the continued peace of the transportation service, which is essential to the welfare of the nation, and the prosperity and comfort of all its citizens; and

Whereas, Such arbitrators, in their formal decision, recommend the appointment of a Commission by Act of Congress, with authority to adjust industrial disputes between employers and employees engaged in Interstate Commerce, to the end that Interstate Commerce may not be interfered with by either lockouts or strikes, and the report of the said arbitrators is the result of careful investigation and entitled to serious consideration; therefore, be it

Resolved, That this Chamber expresses the hope that Congress will give due consideration to the recommendations of said Commission ; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York appreciating the public benefit conferred by the distinguished members of the Commission, hereby indicate their appreciation of it by tendering them a vote of thanks for their magnificent service to the people directly affected, as well as to the citizens of this great nation.

The report and accompanying preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted.


WELDING Ring, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Commerce and the Revenue Laws, presented the following report and moved its adoption :

To the Chamber of Commerce :

There has been introduced in the Senate of the United States by Senator NELSON a bill, known as “Senate Bill No. 7208,” amending the HARTER Act, (Act of February 13, 1893) which proposes several radical changes in the law of the United States, relating to the carriage of cargo by sea.

The HARTER Act has been on the statute books nearly twenty years, has been interpreted by the Supreme Court, and is now well understood by merchants and shipowners throughout the world. It prohibits the insertion in bills of lading for cargo transported from or between ports of the United States and foreign ports” of any clause relieving shipowners from liability, loss or damage arising from negligence, fault or failure in the proper loading, stowage, custody, care or proper delivery of the merchandise committed to its charge.

It also makes it unlawful to insert in any such bill of lading any agreement whereby the obligations of the owner or owners of said vessel, to exercise due diligence to properly equip, man, provision and outfit said vessel and to make said vessel seaworthy, or whereby the obligation to carefully handle and stow the cargo and to properly care for and deliver the same shall in any wise be weakened, lessened or avoided.

The HARTER Act provides, that if the ship owner shall exercise due diligence to make his vessel in all respects sea worthy and properly manned, that he shall not become responsible for damage resulting from faults or errors in navigation or management of said vessel. The HARTER Act holds the shipowner up to a high standard. He must furnish a sea worthy ship, and a competent crew, and he must see to it that the cargo is carefully handled and stowed, and properly delivered.

At the time the HARTER Act was enacted it was considered a fair compromise between shippers and shipowners, and as it finally became a law, the Bill was believed to represent fairly the rights of both shippers and shipowners. For twenty years it has worked well in practice, and it is believed that it needs no amendment now.

The amendments proposed, are as follows:

Section First, of the NELSON Bill, amends first section of the HARTER Act, by adding a provision, making it unlawful to insert in any Bill of Lading for goods transported between ports of the United States and foreign ports, any clause relieving the shipowner from liability for losses arising from faults or errors in the navigation or management of said vessel, or whereby its or their liability is limited to less than the market value of such merchandise or property at the time and place of shipment.

The second section of the Nelson Bill provides, that when the vessel is engaged in transporting merchandise or property between ports of the United States of America (that is in the coastwise trade) neither the said vessel or owner or owners, charterer or charterers, shall be held, or become responsible for loss resulting from faults or errors in the navigation or management of said vessel.

Your comınittee has given this bill very careful consideration, and have reached the conclusion, that it is not a wise one to enact, for the following reasons :

First. No amendment to the HARTER Act is needed. The Act has been in effect twenty years, has been strictly interpreted by the courts, and applies equally to foreign and domestic vessels, is now well understood by merchants and shipowners throughout the world, and represents a fair compromise between their respective interests.

Second. The HARTER Act is in conformity with that of Great Britain and the principal continental nations of Europe. Such conformity of law is highly to be desired, and should be maintained.

Third. The proposed Nelsox Bill is unfair in that it places the liability for navigation in the foreign trade on a different basis from that in the coastwise trade.

Fourth. The changes proposed by the Nelson Bill are in no way in the interest of merchants.

The result of this Bill if enacted into law would by increasing the liability of steamships and owners, undoubtedly cause an increase in freight rates, as the shipowners would be compelled to cover this additional risk by insurance, and would add to the freight rates.

Your Committee, therefore, offer the following preamble and resolutions :

Whereas, The Bill introduced by Senator NELSON, in the Senate of the United States, known as Senate Bill No. 7208, would by the changes proposed, seriously affect the HARTER Act, relating to the carriage of cargo by sea, thereby creating great uncertainty as to liability between shipowners, shippers and Marine Underwriters, and they believe it would inevitably lead to an increase in cost of freight; and

Whereas, The HARTER Act is well understood and established throughout the world, and has given general satisfaction; therefore, be it

Resolred, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York opposes Senate Bill No. 7208 as being unnecessary, undesirable, unfair and not in the interest of marine trade, and also

Resolved, That a copy of this report be forwarded to the members of the United States Senate.


Silas D. WEBB,

Of the Committee on Foreign Commerce

and the Revenue Laws.

NEW YORK, December 30, 1912.

The report and accompanying preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted.


EUGENIUS H. OUTERBRIDGE, Chairman of the Committee on the Harbor and Shipping, presented the following report and moved its adoption :

To the Chamber of Commerce :

For some months your committee has been giving continuous study to the physical conditions existing on and contiguous to that portion of the water front on the Brooklyn shore from the Brooklyn Bridge south to Bay Ridge, and to a careful analysis of the various plans and proposals relating to its development which have been suggested by the Commissioner of Docks and by private interests owning and operating already developed sections within that territory.

The natural advantages possessed by this section for development and use as a great berthing, shipping and receiving terminal for ocean steamers, especially for those carrying the great mass of miscellaneous import and export cargo, are second to none in any part of our Harbor.

Portions of this shore line are already highly developed and efficiently operated under private ownership and are intensively used; other intervening portions are indifferently developed or devoid of any improvements whatsoever and not at present serving any useful purpose ; and other portions are owned by the city and improvements thereon have been begun by the completion of two large piers. These piers at present have no railroad connections or terminal warehouse facilities.

Nowhere else in the city at this time does there exist a favorable opportunity to endeavor to co-ordinate public and private enterprise in the development and modernizing of so long a stretch of water front in one comprehensive plan, looking to the possibility of


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