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It results from the documents (United States Memorial, p. 181) that Jesse Lewis was a poor aged man, who was possessed of no means of any moment or value other than the said schooner, that his wife was an invalid, and that after his vessel was seized, he was compelled to go to sea to earn a living for himself and his wife (United States Memorial, p. 183). And further he appears as having been perfectly innocent of his master's conduct, whom he had expressly prohibited from entering Canadian ports, as it has been shown.
It is true, the proceedings which resulted in the confiscation of the David J. Adams constituted an actio in rem against the vessel and not against the owner; but finally all the consequences of the affair were inflicted on the owner and his abandonment of his right of appeal which might have succeeded as to the penalty, seems to have been partly due to his absence of pecuniary means.
Under these circumstances, this Tribunal thinks it is its duty to draw the special attention of His Britannic Majesty's Government to the loss so incurred by Jesse Lewis and it ventures to express the desire that that Government will consider favorably the allowance as an act of grace to the said Jesse Lewis or to his representatives, on account of his unfortunate misfortune, of adequate compensation for the loss of his vessel and the damages resulting therefrom. That compensation, this Tribunal earnestly urges upon the attention of the British and Canadian Government.
For These Reasons
The Tribunal decides that, with above recommendation, the claim presented by the United States Government in this case be disallowed.
The President of the Tribunal,
In The Matter Of The S. S. Newchwang
This is a claim presented by His Majesty's Government for the sum of £4,271/4/8 with interest from August 27, 1902 (the date on which the claim was first brought to the notite of the United States Government) for damage sustained by the China Navigation Co., Ltd., a British corporation, as the result of a collision which occurred on May 11, 1902, off the southern mouth of the Yangtse River between the British steamship Newchwang, owned by the said company, and the Saturn, a naval collier, owned and operated by the United States Government.
There is no contest about the ownership of either the Newchwang or the Saturn, the British nationality of the claimant, or the fact of the collision.
On July 11,1902, an action for damages was brought by the United States Government against the China Navigation Co., Ltd., in His Britannic Majesty's Supreme Court of China and Corea in Admiralty. On August 16, 1902, an application for leave to enter a counter-claim was filed by the China Navigation Co., Ltd., but on August 20, 1902, an order was made refusing this application for lack of jurisdiction. On January 16, 1903, both parties being represented, the Court decided the case upon its merits, and delivered a judgment as follows:
This Court doth decree and order that the S/S Newchwang being in no way to blame for the collision referred to in the Plaintiff's petition this suit be dismissed with costs to be taxed. (British Memorial, p. 51.)
The British Government contend that by reason of this judgment the liability of the United States for the damage and loss suffered by the China Navigation Co., in consequence of the collision is covered by the principle of res judicata and, therefore, not open to dispute.
It is unnecessary here to discuss the value of a plea of res judicata before an international tribunal of arbitration. It is a well established rule of law that the doctrine of res judicata applies only where there is identity of the parties and of the question at issue. The only matter before His Britannic Majesty's Supreme Court was the liability of the China Navigation Co., Ltd., as owners of the Newchwang, whereas the question submitted to this Tribunal is the liability of the United States Government as owners of the Saturn. Whatever, therefore, be the connection in fact between the two questions, they are not identical. Further, it is impossible to say that the question of the liability of the United States is concluded by the decision of His Britannic Majesty's Court, when that Court, on the contrary, held that it had no jurisdiction to deal with that question.
In these circumstances it is for this Tribunal to decide whether the United States Government is liable to pay compensation for the said collision. For this purpose it i3 authorized by Article 5 of the Pecuniary Claims Convention to consider such evidence and information as may be furnished by either Government.
Although the decision of His Majesty's Supreme Court is not in any sense res judicata in this case, and although the findings of the Court as to the facts upon which liability depends are not binding upon this Tribunal, yet they are evidence of the conclusions reached by a competent municipal tribunal. But, in considering these conclusions, and the evidence upon which they were based, it must be remembered firstly, that there the burden of proof was on the Saturn, while before this Tribunal it is on the Newchwang; and secondly, that evidence has been put before this Tribunal which was not before that Court. In behalf of the United States, the most important fresh evidence is the report of the proceedings of the United States Naval Board of Investigation, dated May 23, 1902, within two weeks after the collision, which laid the blame for the collision on the Newchwang. The only evidence presented on the part of Great Britain which was not before the trial court, consists: (a) of certain bills introduced into the United States Senate providing for the reference of this claim to the Court of Claims, to determine, subject to certain conditions whether any damages should be paid, and (b) a copy of a letter dated January 30, 1907, addressed by the Secretary of the Navy to the Chairman of the Committee on Claims of the House of Representatives. His Majesty's Government contend that this letter contains an admission of liability which estops the United States from denying responsibility. It appears, however, from a statement made by the Counsel for Great Britain on the oral argument, that this letter was merely a personal or private recommendation to the Chairman of the Committee on Claims, and has never been officially published, and for this reason in the opinion of the Tribunal it cannot be regarded as an admission of liability on the part of the United States. As to the bills, it was also stated in the oral argument that none of them were voted upon in the Senate, nor were they even favorably reported upon by the Committee on Claims, to which they were referred. Dealing now with the merits.
7. As to the facts:
It is admitted on both sides that the night was clear and the water smooth and that there was plenty of searoom; it is shown that the regulation lights were burning brightly and the regular watches kept; the force of the tide is not in dispute, and under all these circumstances it is difficult to understand how, with the exercise of ordinary care and skill, the collision occurred.
Notwithstanding a considerable conflict of evidence, and a wide variance between the Preliminary Acts of the two ships and the oral evidence of those on board them, the following facts are clearly established.
On May 11, 1902, at about eleven P.m., the British S/S Newchwang 894 tons gross tonnage was proceeding up the Chinese coast from Amoy to Shanghai and had passed through Steep Island Pass, steering North 2° West Magnetic. Her speed was 10-12 knots. She sighted at a distance of six miles and about two points on her port bow the masthead light of another steamer, which afterwards proved to be the Saturn. She held on her course.
At the same time, the United States collier Saturn, bound from Shanghai to Cavite, Philippine Islands had passed Bonham Straits and Elgar Island; her speed was 10-12 knots and she was steering South f East. She reported no light at all at the time when she herself was sighted by the Newchwang.
However, about twenty minutes later the Saturn passed another steamer, the Hoihow which was going north in front of and in the same course as the Newchwang. The Saturn ported her helm and came to starboard in accordance with the Rules of the Road, but so tardily that the captain of the Hoihow testified that the two vessels passed at two ships' length apart.
After so passing the Hoihow the Saturn resumed her course and it was only then that she sighted the masthead light of the Newchwang. At that time the two vessels were less than \ \ miles apart. In the oral argument, not only was it admitted but stress was laid upon the fact that from the time the Saturn passed the Hoihow at 11:14 P.m., only six minutes elapsed before the collision; that the Saturn saw the masthead light of the Newchwang at 11:16 P.m., and her red light at 11.17.43 P.m., and that the collision occurred at 11:20 P.m., So that the Saturn saw the masthead light of the Newchwang only four minutes and her sidelight only two minutes before the collision. The combined speed of the vessels at the time was about 22 knots.
At that moment as soon as she saw the sidelight on the Newchwang the Saturn ported her helm, as she had done a few minutes before, when she met the Hoihow.
The fact that the Saturn crossed the Newchwang in this way has been contested. But it seems to [be] the correct inference from the statement in the Preliminary Act of the Saturn that when first seen, two minutes, that is after passing the Hoihow, the Newchwang bore f of a point off the Saturn's starboard bow—from the admission by Counsel for the United States in the course of the oral argument that it was the duty of the Saturn to keep out of the way of the Newchwang, from the evidence of her captain (" I sighted light on starboard bow $ to $ of a point"), and also from the captain's admission that after passing the Hoihow, he resumed his course, which was South by | East and then saw the Newchwang's red light. This would have been impossible unless he had crossed her bow from starboard to port. On the other hand the consistent evidence of those on the Newchwang is to the effect that they first saw the green light of the Saturn on their starboard bow, the Newchwang's course then being North 2° West Magnetic, and that subsequent to that the Newchwang starboarded to clear a junk and did not go back on her course, so that she was getting further away from the Saturn.
As soon [as] the Saturn sighted the side lights of the Newchwang, i. e., two minutes before the collision, and came to starboard she blew her whistle and reversed her engines. But the collision was already inevitable.
On her side the Newchwang tried to minimize the collision by coming to port, but that proved to be useless and the two ships struck at about right angles.
II. As to the liability:
It is clear that a good lookout was not kept on board the Saturn from the fact that though more than twenty minutes before the collision she was sighted by the Newchwang, at about six miles distance, she herself did not report the Newchwang until four minutes before the collision when the two ships were only lj miles apart—and from the fact that she did not report any light of the other steamer, the Hoihow, which was passed a few minutes before the collision.
If a good lookout had been kept, the Saturn would have sighted the Hoihow, and, behind her, the Newchwang, and after passing the Hoihow she would have kept clear of the second steamer. Instead of that, the Saturn not having reported the Hoihow, passed her under circumstances of some peril, and having passed her, resumed her course, so that she came upon the Newchwang under similar but more dangerous conditions, too late for either ship to avoid an accident.
Accordingly the Saturn must be held to be to blame, 1st, for having neglected to keep a good lookout; 2d, for having resumed her course after passing the Hoihow, when she ought to have known that another steamer was following; and 3d, for having manoeuvred too late and render the collision unavoidable.
As to the Newchwang, the United States Naval Inquiry blamed that ship, 1st, for not having answered the Saturn's starboarding whistle. But according to the Rules of the Road no answering whistle ought to have been given by the Newchwang unless she was going to alter her course. It is true that this is not the American rule, but on the high seas the American rule does not apply to a foreign vessel; 2d, for not having stopped and reversed her engines; but evidence has shown that she did; 3d, for having her red light burning dimly; but the evidence has shown that it was burning brightly; 4th, at all events for not entering into conversation before the collision, and for striking nearly at right angles; but the Newchwang's manoeuvre at that moment was a desperate endeavor to minimize, if possible, the effect of a collision which had been rendered unavoidable by the inexplicable action of the Saturn.
The Newchwang appears to have kept a proper lookout. When she sighted the Saturn on her port bow, she had only to keep her course in order to pass port to port according to the Rules; and her manoeuvring when the collision was inevitable was merely as has been said a desperate attempt to minimize its effect and cannot be imputed to her as a fault.
III. As to the amount of liability:
The British Government claims not only the amount of the damage suffered by the Newchwang and the cost of her repair, but also the various expenses entailed by the action brought by the United States before the Shanghai Court.
It may be that the item for legal expenses might have been claimed in an appeal from the Shanghai decision. But this Tribunal has not to deal with such appeal, and has no authority either to reverse or affirm that decision or to deal with damages arising out of the action brought by the United States. It is true that such expenses are damages indirectly consequent to the collision; but it is a well known principle of the law of damages that causa proxima non remota inspicitur.
As to the amount directly arising from the collision, the British Government claim for £1,612 as loss of profit and expenses during the time of re