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after the next sunrise, all letters and packages brought by him or within his power or control and not relating to the cargo, addressed to or destined for such port or place, for which he shall receive from the postmaster two cents for each letter or package so delivered, unless the same is carried under a contract for carrying the mail; and for every failure so to deliver such letters or packages, the master or other person having charge or control of such steamboat or other vessel, shall be fined not more than one hundred and fifty dollars. (Mar. 4, 1909, sec. 200.)
The Postmaster General may pay, to the master or owner of any vessel not regularly employed in carrying the mail, two cents for each letter carried by such vessel between ports or places in the United States, or from any foreign port to any port in the United States; but all such letters shall be deposited in the post office at the port of arrival. (R. S. 3978.)
No vessel departing from the United States for any foreign port shall receive on board or convey any letter or packet originating in the United States which has not been regularly received from the post office at the port of departure, and which does not relate to the cargo of such vessel, except as provided in section three thousand nine hundred and ninety-three; and every collector, or other officer of the port empowered to grant clearances, shall require from the master of such vessel, as a condition of clearance, an oath that he has not received on board, has not under his care or control, and will not receive or convey any letter or packet contrary to the provisions of this section. (R. S. 3987.)
No vessel arriving within a port or collection district of the United States shall be allowed to make entry or break bulk until all letters on board are delivered to the nearest post office, and the master or other person having charge or control thereof has signed and sworn to the following declaration before the collector or other proper customs officer: I, A, B., master
and now lying in the port of do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have to the best of my knowledge and belief delivered to the post office at every letter and every bag, packet, or parcel of letters which was on board the said vessel during her last voyage, or which were in my possession or under my power or control.
And any master or other person having charge or control of such vessel who shall break bulk before he has delivered such letters shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars. (Mar. 4, 1909, sec. 204.)
Any post office inspector, when instructed by the Postmaster General to make examinations and seizures, and the collector or other customs officers of any port, without special instructions, shall carefully search all vessels for letters which may be on board or which have been conveyed contrary to law. (R. S. 3989; June 11, 1880, sec. 1.)
Any post office inspector, collector, or other customs officer, or United States marshal or his deputy, may at all times seize all letters and bags, packets, or parcels containing letters which are being carried contrary to law on board any vessel or on any post route, and convey the same to the nearest post office, or may, by the direction of the Postmaster General or Secretary of the Treasury, detain
them until two months after the final determination of all suits and proceedings which may, at any time within six months after such seizure, be brought against any person for sending or carrying such letters. (R. S. 3990; June 11, 1880, sec. 1.)
Every package or parcel seized by any post-office inspector, collector, or other customs officer, or United States marshal or his deputies, in which any letter is unlawfully concealed shall be forfeited to the United States, and the same proceedings may be had to enforce the forfeiture as are authorized in respect to goods, wares, and merchandise forfeited for violation of the revenue laws; and all laws for the benefit and protection of customs officers making seizures for violating the revenue laws shall apply to officers making seizures for violating the postal laws. (R. S. 3991; June 11, 1880, sec. 1.)
The Postmaster General, after advertising for proposals, may enter into contracts or make suitable arrangements for transporting the mail through any foreign country, between any two points in the United States, and such transportation shall be by the speediest, safest, and most economical route; and all contracts therefor may be revoked whenever any new road or canal shall be opened affording a speedier, more economical, and equally safe transportation between the same points; but in case of the revocation of any such contract, a fair indemnity shall be awarded to the contractor. (R. S. 4006.)
The Postmaster General may, after advertising for proposals, enter into contracts for the transportation of the mail between the United States and any foreign country whenever the public interests will thereby be promoted. (R. S. 4007.)
The mail between the United States and any foreign port, or between ports of the United States touching at a foreign port, shall be transported in steamships; but the Postmaster General may have such transportation performed by sailing vessels when the service can be facilitated thereby. (R. S. 4008.)
For transporting the mail between the United States and any foreign port, or between ports of the United States touching at a foreign port, the Postmaster General may allow as compensation, if by a United States steamship, any sum not exceeding the sea and United States inland postage; and if by a foreign steamship or by a sailing vessel, any sum not exceeding the sea postage, on the mail so transported. (R. S. 4009.)
The Postmaster General may impose fines on contractors for transporting the mail between the United States and any foreign country, for any unreasonable or unnecessary delay in the departure of such mail, or the performance of the trip; but the fine for any one default shall not exceed one-half the contract price for the trip. (R. S. 4010.)
Every contract for transporting the mail between the United States and any foreign country shall contain, besides the usual stipulation for the right of the Postmaster General to discontinue the same, the further stipulation that it may be terminated by Congress. (R. S. 4011.)
The Postmaster General may, by and with the advice and consent of the President, make any arrangements which may be deemed just and expedient for allowing the mails of Canada, or any other country
adjoining the United States, to be transported over the territory of the United States from one point in such country to any other point in the same, at the expense of the country to which the mail belongs, upon obtaining a like privilege for the transportation of the United States mail through the country to which the privilege is granted; but such privilege may at any time be annulled by the President or Congress from and after one month succeeding the day on which notice of the act of the President or Congress is given to the chief executive or head of the post-office department of the country whose privilege is to be annulled. (R. S. 4012.)
The Postmaster General, under the direction of the President of the United States, is hereby authorized and empowered to charge upon, and collect from, all letters and other mailable matter carried to or from any port of the United States, in any foreign packet ship or other vessel, the same rate or rates of charge for American postage which the government to which such foreign packet or other vessel belongs imposes upon letters and other mailable matter conveyed to or from such foreign country in American packets or other vessels as the postage of such government, and at any time to revoke the same; and all customhouse officers and other United States agents designated or appointed for that purpose shall enforce or carry into effect the foregoing provision, and aid or assist in the collection of such postage, and to that end it shall be lawful for such officers and agents, on suspicion of fraud, to open and examine, in the presence of two or more respectable persons, being citizens of the United States, any package or packages supposed to contain mailable matter found on board such packets or other vessels or elsewhere, and to prevent, if necessary, such packets or other vessels from entering, breaking bulk, or making clearance until such letters or other mailable matter are duly delivered into the United States post office. (R. S. 4015.)
Part XXVII. WRECKS
Report of wrecks-
Wrecks in foreign waters.
Page 221 221
Report of Wrecks.
Whenever any vessel of the United States has sustained or caused any accident involving the loss of life, the material loss of property, or any serious injury to any person, or has received any material damage affecting her seaworthiness or her efficiency, the managing owner, agent, or master of such vessel shall within five days after the happening of such accident or damage, or as soon thereafter as possible, send, by letter to the collector of customs of the district wherein such vessel belongs or of that within which such accident or damage occurred, a report thereof, signed by such owner, agent, or master, stating the name and official number (if any) of the vessel, the port to which she belongs, the place where she was, the nature and probable occasion of the casualty, the number and names of those lost, and the estimated amount of loss or damage to the vessel or cargo; and shall furnish, upon the request of either of such collectors of customs, such other information concerning the vessel, her cargo, and the casualty as may be called for; and if he neglect or refuse to comply with the foregoing requirements after a reasonable time, he shall incur a penalty of one hundred dollars. (Sec. 10.)
Whenever the managing owner or agent of any vessel of the United States has reason, owing to the nonappearance of such vessel, or to any other circumstance, to apprehend that such vessel has been lost, he shall, as soon as conveniently may be, send notice, in writing, to the collector of customs of the port to which said vessel belonged, of such loss, and the probable occasion thereof stating the name and the official number (if any) of the vessel, and the names of all persons on board, so far as the same can be ascertained, and shall furnish, upon request of the collector of such port, such additional information as he may be able; and if he neglect to comply with the above requirements within a reasonable time, he shall incur a penalty of one hundred dollars. (Sec. 11.)
It shall be the duty of the collectors of customs to immediately transmit to the Secretary of the Treasury such reports and information as they may receive under the provisions of the two preceding sections, and they shall also report to the Secretary of the Treasury any neglect or refusal on the part of the managing owner, agent, or master of any vessel of the United States to comply with the require. ments thereof. (June 20, 1874, sec. 12.)
The Secretary of Commerce may, upon application therefor, remit or mitigate any penalty provided for in this Act, or discontinue
prosecution to recover the same, upon such terms as he, in his discretion, shall think proper, and shall have authority to ascertain the facts upon all such applications in such manner and under such regulations as he may think proper. All penalties herein provided may be sued for, prosecuted, recovered, and disposed of in the manner prescribed by section forty-three hundred and five of the Revised Statutes. (Šune 20, 1874, sec. 13; Mar. 3, 1897, sec. 11.)
The owner, agent, or master of every barge which, while in tow through the open sea, has sustained or caused any accident, shall be subject in all respects to the provisions of sections ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen of chapter three hundred and forty-four of the Statutes at Large, approved June twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventyfour, and the reports therein prescribed shall be transmitted by collectors of customs to the Secretary of Commerce, who shall transmit annually to Congress a summary of such reports during the previous fiscal year, together with a brief statement of the action of the department in respect to such accidents. (Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 15.) Canadian Wrecks.
Canadian vessels and wrecking appurtenance may render aid and assistance to Canadian or other vessels and property wrecked, disabled, or in distress in the waters of the United States contiguous to the Dominion of Canada: Provided, That this Act shall not take effect until proclamation by the President of the United States that the privilege of aiding American or other vessels and property wrecked, disabled, or in distress in Canadian waters contiguous to the United States has been extended by the Government of the Dominion of Canada to American vessels and wrecking appliances of all descriptions. This Act shall be construed to apply to the canal and improvement of the waters between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, and to the waters of the Saint Mary's River and canal: And provided further, That this Act shall cease to be in force from and after the date of the proclamation of the President of the United States to the effect that said reciprocal privilege has been withdrawn, revoked, or rendered inoperative by the said Government of the Dominion of Canada. (May 24, 1890; Mar. 3, 1893, sec. 1.) Wrecking and Salvaging.
The High Contracting Parties agree that vessels and wrecking appliances, either from the United States or from the Dominion of Canada, may salve any property wrecked and may render aid and assistance to any vessels wrecked, disabled or in distress in the waters or on the shores of the other country in that portion of the Saint Lawrence River through which the international boundary line extends, and in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Saint Clair, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior, and in the Rivers Niagara, Detroit, Saint Clair, and Ste. Marie, and the Canals at Sault Ste. Marie, and on the shores and in the waters of the other country along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts within a distance of thirty miles from the international boundary on such coasts.
It is further agreed that such reciprocal wrecking and salvage privileges shall include all necessary towing incident thereto, and that nothing in the customs, coasting, or other laws or regulations of either country shall restrict in any manner the salving operations of such vessels or wrecking appliances.