Слике страница
PDF
ePub

a citizen,” between the ages of 18 and 45. 32 Stat. 775, c. 196. It may have been that the phrase “liability to military service” was borrowed from the previous acts. It would seem as if the present Draft Act were in completest harmony with other military service statutes in that behalf. Be that as it may, however, the act does provide in express terms that the draft shall be based upon liability to military service of all male citizens and all male persons not alien enemies who have declared their intention to become citizens, and, as above recited, contains the further provision that of all persons registered none shall be exempt from service, unless exempt or excused “as in the act provided.” The language seems indicative of such a “positive repugnancy” (Chew Heong v. United States, 112 U. S. 536, 549, 5 Sup. Ct. 255, 28 L. Ed. 770) to the terms of the treaty with Spain as to leave no room for the conclusion that they can be read together, and that Congress was intending that citizens of Spain, as well as of other countries, who had declared their intention of becoming citizens of the United States under the naturalization laws, should be subject to the demands of the emergency. The conclusion here announced is confirmed in a degree by the concluding section of the act, suspending all laws in conflict with it during the period of the emergency.

It follows that the court, conceiving it to be its duty to follow the intent of Congress, must needs remand the petitioners to such relief as may be accorded to them by the political department of the Government. The order to show cause is discharged, and the writs petitioned for are denied.

SWAYNE AND HOYT, INC. v. EVERETT
United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth District
January 6, 1919.

Ross, Circuit Judge. This case comes here from the United States Court for China. It is a writ of error sued out by the defendant to an action there brought by the present defendant in error to recover damages for the refusal of the plaintiff in error, a common carrier, to receive, without lawful excuse, certain cargo offered it by the plaintiff to the action for shipment from Shanghai by the steamer Yucatam, which had been advertised to be on the berth at Shanghai for freight to San Francisco. The facts are practically undisputed, and are, briefly, these: Swayne & Hoyt was a California corporation having its principal place of business at San Francisco, and was therefore an American citizen, and was a common carrier of freight between the Orient and that city among other places. It had as its agent at Shanghai a British corporation styled Jardine, Matheson & Company, Limited, and had under charter the said steamship for a voyage from San Francisco to China and Japan and return to San Francisco and other Pacific coast ports of the United States. Prior to the arrival of the Yucatan at Shanghai the plaintiff in the case applied to the agent of the defendant thereto for space in the ship in which to ship certain goods, in response to which application, after one denial of it, the agent agreed to provide the requested space upon condition that the application be approved by the British Consul at Shanghai. That conditional acceptance was refused. The cargo offered for shipment by the plaintiff was being handled by him for German subjects, by reason of which fact he was blacklisted by the British Government, and all British subjects, including the agent of the defendant corporation, inhibited from dealing with the plaintiff respecting this particular shipment as well as all other such shipments. The defendant through its British agent having refused to accept the cargo offered by Everett, the action was brought, resulting in the judgment of the court below in his favor for $2,720.20, with costs. But two questions of law are involved, first, whether the court below had jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the action, and, if so, then secondly, its merits. By Section 1 of the Act of June 30, 1906, creating the court below (34 Stat. Lg. 814), that court is given “Exclusive jurisdiction in all cases and judicial proceedings whereof jurisdiction may now be exercised by United States consuls and ministers by law and by virtue of treaties between the United States and China, except in so far as the said jurisdiction is qualified by Section Two of this Act.” The qualification specified in Section 2 of the Act has no bearing upon the present case, and, therefore, no further mention of it need be made. At the time of the passage of the Act of June 30, 1906, there were in force the provisions of Sections 4083, 4084, and 4085 of the Revised Statutes, by which certain judicial authority was conferred upon United States ministers and consuls in certain countries, including China, which jurisdiction embraced all controversies between citizens of the United States or others, provided for by its treaties.

The treaty with China bearing upon the present question was that of June 18th, 1858 (12 Stats. Lg., p. 1029), and conferred upon the United States the right to appoint consuls in various parts of China. Its XXVII Article is as follows:

All questions in regard to rights, whether of property or person, arising between citizens of the United States in China, shall be subject to the jurisdiction and regulated by the authorities of their own government; and all controversies occurring in China between citizens of the United States and the subjects of any other government shall be regulated by the treaties existing between the United States and such governments, respectively, without interference on the part of China.

It is the contention of the plaintiff in error that the words "in China” in the foregoing Article qualify the word “citizens” and not the word “arising”; in other words, that a residence of the parties in China is essential to the existence of any jurisdiction in the court. We think it obvious that such a construction of the provision is wholly inadmissible, for the subject-matter thereby dealt with is controversies arising in China. The first clause of the provision relates to controversies in regard to rights, whether of property or person, there arising between citizens of the United States, and declares that they shall be subject to the jurisdiction and be regulated by the authorities of their own government; and by its second clause it is declared that all such controversies there arising between citizens of the United States and the subjects of any other government, shall be regulated by the treaties existing between the United States and such governments, respectively-in each instance without interference on the part of China. We regard it as clear that this is the very plain meaning of the article in question. As said by counsel for the defendant in error, the bare reading of its second clause is all that is necessary to show that the words “in China" there used, fixes, as the basis of the jurisdiction of the court, the place of the origin of the controversy, and not the residence of the parties thereto. No sound reason is suggested why a like construction should not be placed upon the first clause. To adopt the view urged by the plaintiff in error would be, in effect, to hold a consular court in China

vested with jurisdiction of a controversy between American citizens arising in the United States if they happened to be residents of China.

Upon the merits we think the case equally clear.

It does not admit of doubt that a common carrier, with certain well-established exceptions, is under legal obligation to carry the goods of any member of the public who may tender them for carriage. That such a carrier subject to such legal obligation may show that it was prevented from performing it by act of God or a public enemy, or by some other cause over which it had no control, is readily conceded, but in all such cases the defense is an affirmative one, and the burden is upon the carrier to both plead and prove it. 1 Michie on Carriers, Sec. 381; Chicago, etc. R. R. Co. v. Wolcott, 39 N. E. Rep. 451.

At the time of the occurrences in question, England and Germany were at war, but the United States was not; on the contrary, this country was then observing strict neutrality between those belligerents. How, then, can it be properly held that the performance of the clear legal duty of an American carrier to receive and transport goods tendered for carriage, by an American citizen, is excused on the ground that the British Government had forbidden its citizens and corporations, one of which happened to be the agent of the American carrier, from receiving the tendered freight and providing for its transportation? Such is not the law as we understand it. See, Richards & Co., Inc. v. Wrechsner, 156 N. Y. Supp. 1054, and the numerous cases there cited.

It is contended on behalf of the carrier that there was no evidence to show that it knew that its agent at Shanghai was inhibited by the British Government from shipping the goods of the plaintiff in time to have employed an agent not under such disability. Whether or not the carrier knew of the inhibition at all, or was apprised of it in time to have employed another agent, the fact remains that the agent it did appoint, acting within the scope of his employment, deprived the plaintiff of his legal right. For that wrong we think the carrier was properly adjudged liable, even assuming that it was ignorant of its agent's disability. See Chesapeake do Ohio R. Co. v. Francisco, 149 Ky. 307.

The judgment is affirmed.

THE STIGSTAD Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. (Lord Sumner, Lord Parmoor, Lord Wrenbury, Lord Sterndale, and Sir

Arthur Channall)

December 16, 1918 Appeal by neutrals from a judgment of the High Court of Admiralty (in prize) against their claim for damages for detention of vessel

Lord Sumner, in moving that the appeal be dismissed, said:

The appellants in this case were claimants below. They are a Norwegian company which manages the steamship Stigstad for her owners, the Klaveness Dampskibsaktieselskab, a Norwegian corporation. While on a voyage, begun on April 10, 1915, from Kirkenes, Sydvaranger, in Norway, to Rotterdam, with iron-ore briquettes, the property of neutrals, she was stopped in lat. 56 deg. 9 min. N. and long. 6 deg. 6 min. E., about a day's sail from Rotterdam, by H.M.S. Inconstant, and was ordered to Leith and thence to Middlesborough to discharge. Their claim for (1) freight, (2) detention, and (3) expenses consequent upon” this seizure and the discharge at Middlesborough afterward. The detention was measured by the number of days which elapsed between the expected date of completing discharge at Rotterdam and the actual date of completing discharge at Middlesborough, calculated at the chartered rate for detention, viz., £130 per day; and as to the expenses, while willing to treat port dues and expenses at Middlesborough as the equivalent of those which would have been incurred at Rotterdam, the owners claimed some port dues and expenses at Leith and a few guineas for special agency expenses at Middlesborough. Eventually the cargo was sold by consent, and a sum, the amount of which was agreed between the parties, was ordered to be paid out of the proceeds to the claimants for freight; but the late Sir Samuel Evans dismissed the claims for detention and for the special expenses. It is against his decree that the claimants have now appealed. They have admitted throughout that, in fact, the cargo of iron-ore briquettes was to be discharged into Rhine barges at Rotterdam in order to be conveyed into Germany.

The cargo was shipped by the Aktieselskab Sydvaranger, of

« ПретходнаНастави »