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Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the consent of Congress is hereby given to the said agreement, and to each and every part and article thereof: Provided, That nothing therein contained shall be construed as impairing or in any manner affecting any right or jurisdiction of the United States in and over the region which forms the subject of said agreement.
Sec. 2. That the right to alter, amend, or repeal this resolution is hereby expressly reserved. (Aug. 23, 1921. See also July 1, 1922, c. 277, vol. 42, p. 822, Stat. L.)
Wireless Ship Act.
It shall be unlawful for any steamer of the United States or of any foreign country navigating the ocean or the Great Lakes and licensed to carry, or carrying, fifty or more persons, including passengers or crew or both, to leave or attempt to leave any port of the United States unless such steamer shall be equipped with an efficient apparatus for radio communication, in good working order, capable of transmitting and receiving messages over a distance of at least one hundred miles, day or night. An auxiliary power supply, independent of the vessel's main electric power plant, must be provided which will enable the sending set for at least four hours to send messages over a distance of at least one hundred miles, day or night, and efficient communication between the operator in the radio room and the bridge shall be maintained at all times.
The radio equipment must be in charge of two or more persons skilled in the use of such apparatus, one or the other of whom shall be on duty at all times while the vessel is being navigated. Such equipment, operators, the regulation of their watches, and the transmission and receipt of messages, except as may be regulated by law or international agreement, shall be under the control of the master, in the case of a vessel of the United States; and every willful failure on the part of the master to enforce at sea the provisions of this paragraph as to equipment, operators, and watches shall subject him to a penalty of one hundred dollars.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to steamers plying between ports, or places, less than two hundred miles apart. (June 24, 1910; July 23, 1912, sec. 1.)
This Act, so far as it relates to the Great Lakes, shall take effect on and after April first, nineteen hundred and thirteen, and so far as it relates to ocean cargo steamers shall take effect on and after July first, nineteen hundred and thirteen: Provided, That on cargo steamers, in lieu of the second operator provided for in this Act, there may be substituted a member of the crew or other person who shall be duly certified and entered in the ship's log as competent to receive and understand distress calls or other usual calls indicating danger, and to aid in maintaining a constant wireless watch so far as required for the safety of life. (July 23, 1912, sec. 2.)
For the purpose of this Act apparatus for radio communication shall not be deemed to be efficient unless the company installing it shall contract in writing to exchange, and shall, in fact, exchange, as far as may be physically practicable, to be determined by the master of the vessel, messages with shore or ship stations using other systems of radio communication. (Sec. 2.)
The master or other person being in charge of any such vessel which leaves or attempts to leave any port of the United States in violation of any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum not more than five thousand dollars, and any such fine shall be a lien upon such vessel, and such vessel may be libeled therefor in any district court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such vessel shall arrive or depart, and the leaving or attempting to leave each and every port of the United States shall constitute a separate offense. (Sec. 3.)
The Secretary of Commerce shall make such regulations as may be necessary to secure the proper execution of this Act by collector's of customs and other officers of the Government. (June 24, 1910, sec. 4.) Regulation of Radio Communication.
This Act is intended to regulate all forms of interstate and foreign radio transmissions and communications within the United States, its Territories and possessions; to maintain the control of the United States over all the channels of interstate and foreign radio transmission; and to provide for the use of such channels, but not the ownership thereof, by individuals, firms, or corporations, for limited periods of time, under licenses granted by Federal authority, and no such license shall be construed to create any right, beyond the terms, conditions, and periods of the license. That no person, firm, company, or corporation shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio (a) from one place in any Territory or possession of the United States or in the District of Columbia to another place in the same Territory, possession, or District; or (b) from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or from the District of Columbia to any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States; or (c) from any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, to any place in any foreign country or to any vessel; or (d) within any State when the effects of such use extend beyond the borders of said State, or when interference is caused by such use or operation with the transmission of such energy, communications, or signals from within said State to any place beyond its borders, or from any place beyond its borders to any place within said State, or with the transmission or reception of such energy, communications, or signals from and/or to places beyond the borders of said State; or (e) upon any vessel of the United States; or (f) upon any aircraft or other mobile stations within the United States, except under and in accordance with this Act and with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this Act. (Sec. 1.)
For the purposes of this Act, the United States is divided into five zones, as follows: The first zone shall embrace the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Porto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; the second zone shall embrace the States of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio,
Michigan, and Kentucky; the third zone shall embrace the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma; the fourth zone shall embrace the States of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri; and the fifth zone shall embrace the States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, the Territory of Hawaii, and Alaska. (Sec. 2.)
A commission is hereby created and established, to be known as the Federal Radio Commission, hereinafter referred to as the commission, which shall be composed of five commissioners appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and one of whom the President shall designate as chairman: Provided, That chairmen thereafter elected shall be chosen by the commission itself.
Each member of the commission shall be a citizen of the United States and an actual resident citizen of a State within the zone from which appointed at the time of said appointment. Not more than one commissioner shall be appointed from any zone. No member of the commission shall be financially interested in the manufacture or sale of radio apparatus or in the transmission or operation of radiotelegraphy, radiotelephony, or radio broadcasting. Not more than three commissioners shall be members of the same political party.
The first commissioners shall be appointed for the terms of two, three, four, five, and six years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this Act, the term of each to be designated by the President, but their successors shall be appointed for terms of six years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the commissioner whom he shall succeed.
The first meeting of the commission shall be held in the city of Washington at such time and place as the chairman of the commission may fix. The commission shall convene thereafter at such times and places as a majority of the commission may determine, or upon call of the chairman thereof.
The commission may appoint a secretary, and such clerks, special counsel, experts, examiners, and other employees as it may from time to time find necessary for the proper performance of its duties and as from time to time may be appropriated for by Congress.
The commission shall have an official seal and shall annually make a full report of its operations to the Congress.
The members of the commission shall receive a compensation of $10,000 for the first year of their service, said year to date from the first meeting of said commission, and thereafter a compensation of $30 per day for each day's attendance upon sessions of the commission or while engaged upon work of the commission and while traveling to and from such sessions, and also their necessary traveling expenses. (Sec. 3.)
Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the commission, from time to time, as public convenience, interest, or necessity requires, shall(a) Classify radio stations;
(b) Prescribe the nature of the service to be rendered by each class of licensed stations and each station within any class;
(c) Assign bands of frequencies or wave lengths to the various classes of stations, and assign frequencies or wave lengths for each individual station, and determine the power which each station shall use, and the time during which it may operate;
(d) Determine the location of classes of stations or individual stations;
(e) Regulate the kind of apparatus to be used with respect to its external effects and the purity and sharpness of the emissions from each station and from the apparatus therein;
(f) Make such regulations not inconsistent with law as it may deem necessary to prevent interference between stations and to carry out the provisions of this Act: Provided, however, That changes in the wave lengths, authorized power, in the character of emitted signals, or in the times of operation of any station, shall not be made without the consent of the station licensee unless, in the judgment of the commission, such changes will promote public convenience or interest or will serve public necessity or the provisions of this Act will be more fully complied with;
(g) Have authority to establish areas or zones to be served by any station;
(h) Have authority to make special regulations applicable to radio stations engaged in chain broadcasting;
(i) Have authority to make general rules and regulations requiring stations to keep such records of programs, transmissions of energy, communications, or signals as it may deem desirable;
(j) Have authority to exclude from the requirements of any regulations in whole or in part any radio station upon railroad rolling stock, or to modify such regulations in its discretion;
(k) Have authority to hold hearings, summon witnesses, administer oaths, compel the production of books, documents, and papers and to make such investigations as may be necessary in the performance of its duties. The commission may make such expenditures (including expenditures for rent and personal services at the seat of government and elsewhere, for law books, periodicals, and books of reference, and for printing and binding) as may be necessary for the execution of the functions vested in the commission and, as from time to time may be appropriated for by Congress. All expenditures of the commission shall be allowed and paid upon the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman. (Sec. 4.)
From and after one year after the first meeting of the commission created by this Act, all the powers and authority vested in the commission under the terms of this Act, except as to the revocation of licenses, shall be vested in and exercised by the Secretary of Commerce; except that thereafter the commission shall have power and jurisdiction to act upon and determine any and all matters brought before it under the terms of this section.
It shall also be the duty of the Secretary of Commerce
(A) For and during a period of one year from the first meeting of the commission created by this Act, to immediately refer to the commission all applications for station licenses or for the renewal or modification of existing station licenses.