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sel, not because it had acquired title to it through appropriate judicial proceedings, but merely as security for its various claims. Under the circumstances it was believed that it was contrary to good conscience for it to continue to do this and at the same time demand payment of the amount due it by the Government, which amount was specifically made a charge upon the vessel by section 20 of the act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1154).
The new facts submitted, however, present a different situation, and assuming that the admiralty proceedings were had with the result stated, as set forth in the papers submitted, I have the honor to advise you that the claim of the Reid Wrecking Co. against the Government for services in removing the steamer John B. Ketcham No. 2 from the West Neebish Channel should now be paid, it being no longer proper, under existing facts, to require the company, as a condition precedent to the payment of its claim, to bring the vessel within the jurisdiction of the United States so that it might be here sold for the benefit of all lienholders.
It seems to be the well-settled rule of admiralty that a decree of any of its courts binds all the world and that “ whatever the court settles as to the right or title, or whatever disposition it makes of the property by sale, revendication, transfer, or other act will be held valid in every other country where the same question comes directly or indirectly in judgment before any other foreign tribunal.” (See Benedict on Admiralty (1894), pp. 208, 209; Penhallow v. Doane, 3 Dallas, 86; The Mary, 9 Cranch, 126, 143, 144; The Trenton, 4 Fed. 657; The Garland, 16 Fed. 283.)
While under these decisions the duty undoubtedly rested upon the Government to intervene in the admiralty proceedings mentioned for the protection of any lien which it may have had upon the vessel, the facts disclosed indicate that the sum, if any, remaining in the court after the payment of the claim of the Reid Wrecking Co. was probably so small as not to justify the expense incident to such intervention. However, I think you should ascertain the exact facts upon this point, and advise me thereof,
so that if it be deemed advisable action can be had looking to the application of the amount toward the discharge of the Government's claim.
This suggestion need not delay your directing payment of the claim of the Reid Wrecking Co., now before you.
It is noted that the company demands payment not only of the contract price, to wit, $18,459, but also interest thereon at 6 per cent from July 7, 1910.
The statute under which this claim arises makes no provision for the payment of interest, therefore none can be paid by you. (United States v. Bayard, 127 U. S. 251, 260; United States v. North Carolina, 136 U. S. 211, 216; Baxter v. United States, 51 Fed. 671, 675.)
The papers transmitted with your letter are herewith returned. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM.
The SECRETARY OF WAR.
CONSTRUCTION OF NAVAL VESSELS–EIGHT-HOUR LAW.
The provisions in the naval appropriation act of March 4, 1911
(36 Stat. 1288), relating to an eight-hour workday for employees engaged in the construction of the vessels therein authorized, are not limited to the employees of contractors but apply to employees of subcontractors engaged in the actual construction of said
vessels. 'Under the eight-hour restrictions of said act, the person, firm, or
corporation actually constructing any of the vessels therein specified must establish an eight-hour workay for all of its employees engaged in making any of the parts of the vessels and in assem
bling those parts upon their completion. These eight-hour restrictions prohibit the working of employees
more than eight hours a day in the construction of said vessels and their machinery, and they can not be nullified by permitting the employees by contract with their employers to work overtime for additional compensation.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
December 21, 1911. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant in which you request an opinion
as to the scope of certain provisions in the naval appropriation act, passed March 4, 1911 (36 Stat. 1265, 1287, 1288).
The portions of the act to which you call my attention are part of the subdivision headed“ Increase of the Navy," under which heading it is provided that:
the President is hereby authorized to have constructed two first-class battleships
* *, to cost, exclusive of armor and armament, not to exceed six million dollars each. Two fleet colliers
to cost not to exceed one million dollars each. “Eight torpedo-boat destroyers
to cost not to exceed eight hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars each.
“Four submarine torpedo boats, in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate two million dollars, and the sum of eight hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated for said purpose: Provided, That no part of this appropriation shall be expended for the construction of any boat by any person, firm or corporation which has not at the time of the commencement and construction of said vessels established an eight-hour workday for all employees, laborers and mechanics engaged, or to be engaged in the construction of the vessels named herein.”
Further on in the act, under the same heading, is the following general provision:
“ Construction and Machinery: On account of hulls and outfits of vessels and steam machinery of vessels heretofore and herein authorized, thirteen million five hundred and thirty-one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five dollars and seventy-nine cents: Provided, That no part of this appropriation for the construction and machinery of battleships shall be expended for the construction of any battleships by any person, firm or corporation which has not at the time of the commencement and during the construction of said vessels established an eight-hour workday for all employees, laborers and mechanics engaged, or to be engaged in the construction of the vessels named herein
You say that
Contracts for the construction of the four submarine torpedo boats have been made with the Electric Boat Co., of Quincy, Mass., and that company, which has no shipbuilding yard at which the vessels could be constructed, has made contracts with the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., of Quincy, for building two of said vessels that are to be delivered on the Atlantic coast; with the Union Iron Works Co., of San Francisco, for building the other two of said vessels which are to be delivered on the Pacific coast; and with engine building companies for certain parts of the inachinery for said vessels. Under these contracts payments on the vessels are to be made to the contractor, the Electric Boat Co., and no contractual relation will subsist between the department and any of the subcontractors. The Electric Boat Co. has informed the department that it has established an eight-hour workday for its employees, but the other companies named have not established an eight-hour workday for their employees that are to be engaged upon the construction of said submarine boats.
“ Contracts for the construction of the two battleships authorized by said act have not yet been made, but proposals for building them have been advertised for, to be opened on the 4th of January next.'
The first question upon which my opinion is asked is—
“ Whether the restriction in the act of March 4, 1911, as quoted above, relating to employees, laborers, and mechanics engaged in the construction of said vessels, applies to employees of the subcontractors engaged in building said submarine boats or the machinery therefor."
Considering this question in the light of the statements made by you as to the contracts with the Electric Boat Co., of Quincy, Mass., for the construction of the four submarine torpedo boats, which company has no shipbuilding yard at which the vessels could be constructed, and has made contracts with other companies for the construction of said boats, I have no hesitation in saying that the eighthour restrictions of the statute were intended to apply to the employees of subcontractors engaged in the actual construction of said boats. To hold that such restrictions
apply to the person having the contract, rather than the one actually constructing the vessels, would nullify it completely. It will be observed that the provisions of the act on the subject of the eight-hour workday are not limited to contractors, but apply to any person, firm, or corporation which is engaged in the construction of the vessels authorized.
The second question presented by you is—
“Whether the eight-hour day restriction in said act, as quoted above, applies to workmen employed only upon the hull and machinery of a vessel as such, a submarine boat or a battleship, or also to other workmen employed in the establishment of the contractor or a subcontractor in the production of materials for use in the construction of the vessel or machinery.”
As I interpret the eight-hour restrictions of the act, the purpose was to compel the person, firm, or corporation actually constructing any of the vessels authorized to establish an eight-hour workday for all their employees engaged or to be engaged upon such work. It is argued by counsel representing certain shipbuilding concerns that the words “construction of said vessels," as used in the act, are to be construed as limited simply to the assembling of the several parts of the vessels at the shipyard, and not as including the making, molding, or fabrication of said parts at the plant of the person constructing the vessels. I think this is placing too narrow an interpretation upon the act. The construction of a vessel in a broad sense includes the fabrication of its parts, and I think the language of the act indicates the purpose of Congress to require the person, firm, or corporation constructing the vessel to establish an eight-hour workday at its plant for all of its employees engaged in making any part of the vessel, as well as for those engaged in assembling those parts upon their completion.
Whether the eight-hour restriction applies to the manufacture of the machinery for said vessels is a matter of considerable doubt, owing to the confusion of language in the act upon this subject. In the paragraph entitled “Construction and machinery,” Congress has treated the vessels