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(Second indorsement.)

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, January 9, 1907. Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

The object of the accompanying bill, H. R. 23383, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, is to extend the time for commencing and completing the bridge authorized by the act of Congress approved June 25, 1906, to be built across Mississippi River at St. Louis, Mo.

So far as the interests of navigation are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the bilĩ by Congress.

A. MACKENZIE
Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.

[Third indorsement.]

War DEPARTMENT, January 10, 1907. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, inviting attention to the foregoing report of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army.

ROBERT Shaw OLIVER,

Assistant Secretary of War. O

Boston, Mass., June 9, 1906. on. William P. FRYE, Lewiston, Me. EAR SIR: I have received copy of your bill to abolish licensed officers on sail vesnot carrying passengers, and wish to urge its early passage. The feature of ed mates is especially obnoxious, as it accomplishes absolutely no good and does great expense and delay to vessels whose demurrage charges run from $100 to $350 :: If a mate leaves us in a southern port (and under existing law he is free and frequently does do so) the vessel must remain tied up until we can send d a man, buy him clothes, as a rule, and a railroad ticket-trusting him to go

sel, which he does not always do, in which event we must repeat the experiur sail under a heavy penalty instead. And the fact that our vessels sometimes efer to submit to the penalty instead of further expensive delay indicates how much this law means to us.

Trusting that you will push this bill to a passage this season, as it will bring a great relief to our burdened shipping, I remain, Very truly, yours,

WM. F. PALMER. P. S.-Since writing the above a recent case in question occurs to mind. A drunken mate deserted one of our ships in Newport News. The ship was held in port for two days until we could get another licensed mate on from Boston. This second mate landed in Norfolk badly drunk, and the captain being unable to discover his whereabouts sailed for Tampa, Fla., without a mate, a violation of the law, for which there is a $500 penalty. The demurrage on this vessel in question was exactly $150 per day, and from a business point of view it became absolutely necessary to get this ship off without her mate. After the vessel arrived in Tampa we were again put to a great deal of trouble in getting a mate. All this could be obviated by the passage of the bill above referred to.

W. F. P.

NEW YORK, June 13, 1906. The COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. Sirs: Referring to the bill introduced by Senator Frye, of Maine, to abolish the "licensed officer provisions of existing law so far as sail vessels are concerned," I hope that this bill will be passed, as I have had lots of trouble with licensed mates. A great many of them are incompetent and dissipated. They don't seem to care and don't try, trusting to their license to carry them through. On three occasions in the last three years I have had mates who shipped in Philadelphia and New York, and signed for a voyage to southern ports and return, who, when in the southern ports, would get drunk and leave without any cause, which made trouble, delay, and expense to the vessel to get any other mate. I have had a number of licensed mates who were absolutely incompetent. Yours, respectfully,

J. W. BENNETT, Master, Schooner Eva B. Douglass.

New YORK, June 13, 1906. The COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. Sirs: Referring to the bill introduced by Senator Frye, of Maine, to abolish the "licensed officer provisions of existing law so far as sail vessels are concerned," we hope that this bill will be passed, as we have had a great deal of trouble with licensed officers. Many men holding licenses are almost worthless to fill positions on our coasting vessels; a great many of them are dissipated and irresponsible, and often after they ship on a vessel they will go off on sprees and leave if they take a notion, regardless of their contract to make a voyage, and oftentimes we could get capable and sober men, but they not having a license, we have to turn them down and lose time by trying to get a man with a license. Within the last fortnight we have had two such cases, and we hope that the law will be repealed. Our coasting vessels never carry passengers. Respectfully, yours,

W. A. ANDERSON & Co.

material, when new, was about $1,650, but as it is out of date the Department would have no use for it except for sale as obsolete property.

A. H. RUSSELL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Ordnance Department, U. S. Army,

Ading Chief of Ordnance. (Second indorsement.)

WAR DEPARTMENT,

December 27, 1906. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate, inviting attention to the foregoing report of the Acting Chief of Ordnance, United States Army.

ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,

Assistant Secretary of War.

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OBSOLETE CANNON FOR UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO.

JANUARY 15, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Kahn, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. K. 15437.]

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 15437) providing for the donation of condemned cannon to the University of Idaho, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that the bill be amended as follows:

Amend the title so as to read: “A bill providing for the donation of obsolete cannon to the University of Idaho.”

Strike out of line 4 the words “turn over" and insert in lieu thereof the word “deliver."

Strike out of line 5 the word "condemned” and insert in lieu thereof the word "obsolete."

Insert after the word “cannon," in line 5, the words “ with the carriages and equipments.”

Insert after the word “University,” in line 7, the words: Provided, That no expense shall be incurred by the United States in the delivery of said cannon.

As so amended your committee recommend that the bill do pass. The report from the War Department is as follows:

[First indorsement.1
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE,

Washington, March 20, 1906. Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

There are now at the University of Idaho two 3-inch wrought-iron cannon, with their carriages and appropriate equipment. The university has been instructed to ship these guns and carriages to Benicia Arsenal, and the Department has in view the issue of 3.2-inch breech-loading rifles, with their carriage and equipments to replace the same, on filing of the bond required by law.

The guns and carriages now at the university, while they have not been condemned, are obsolete, and have no value except as old material or junk; and in order that the The bill also provides a penalty of $100 on the owner and the same on the master of a sail vessel or barge of over 100 gross tons carrying passengers for hire unless the master is licensed by the steamboat inspectors. This penalty is not in existing law, so that the bill provides a new safeguard to the lives of passengers.

The following letters, filed with the committee, show the hardships under the present law and the desirability of the relief contemplated by the bill:

PORTLAND, ME., June 9, 1906. Hon. WILLIAM P. FRYE, Lewiston, Me.

Dear Sir: We have received copy of your bill (No. 6152) proposing to abolish licensed masters and mates.

Few bills have been introduced that mean more to our shipping than this bill.

Under the present law mates are allowed to desert at will, and when this happens in a southern port we must keep the vessel tied up there at a demurrage loss of from $100 to $350 per day while we send north, equip a man with necessaries and a railroad ticket, as we always are compelled to do, and if for any reason that man decided not to go to the vessel, we just wait still longer and repeat the operation.

The fact that builders sacrifice in order to get the vessel they are building under 700 tons (the limit of licensed officers), if possible, shows what this licensing means, and the fact that every device is resorted to in order to evade the law is significant.

Our experience is that the licensed-mate law especially is burdensome and expensive to the vessel without accomplishing a single good thing, and the fact that in some instances the vessel, finding that the delay waiting for a licensed mate is too expensive, sails in defiance of the law and incurs the penalty of a heavy fine, for the act speaks for itself. Trusting that you will be able to enact your bill into law this session, we remain, Yours, truly,

J. S. WINSLOW & Co.

Boston, June 9, 1906. DEAR Sır: While in Washington a few weeks ago, for a short time only, the writer was shown a bill to remove compulsory employment of licensed officers on sailing vessels not carrying passengers for hire, which we understand was your bill, and I told the Commissioner of Navigation that I hoped your bill would pass, or at least the law requiring us to employ licensed mates on sailing vessels would be repealed. I do not consider that we get any better mates by reason of their having a license, and in fact not so good as we did before this law was enacted, and often, by being obliged to employ licensed mates, owners have to take men that are not as good as others who have no license. We have a case in hand this very week where we had a large vessel going to Africa, and not being able to get a licensed mate that we had any confidence in, we tried to send a man who has been master for us a number of years and has made voyages to New Zealand, South America, Africa, and Brazil as both mate and master, and never has met with an accident, but owing to some technicality he could not readily obtain a license, and not having time to go to school and study up, it left us in an awkward position, but the inspector of steam vessels who made the examination was satisfied the man was a good navigator, and granted him a license to go as mate for this voyage, and the captain with whom he goes will teach him on this voyage, so he can probably get a full license on his return. We only cite this case as one of many that have come under our notice.

As the law now stands, mates often desert in a distant port, and vessels are detained to send other mates or do the best they can, and be obliged to pay a fine when they return. We know a number of cases where vessels have been built at Bath of dimensions simall enough to keep them under 700 tons gross tonnage, and the masters are good coasting men and good pilots from Texas to New Brunswick, but feared that they could not get a license, and we hope that you will be able to get your bill passed by the present session of Congress. Yours, very truly,

John S. EMERY & Co., Inc.,

DANL. S. EMERY, President. Hon. Wm. P. FRYE,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

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