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Reporter's Statement of the Case
$20, 134. 70 (2) 15 seamen from Hoishoto Island, Formosa, to
Manila, P. I., 646 statute miles at 2 cents per
21, 851, 56 Now, therefore, the undersigned does hereby assign to American Mail Line, Ltd. any and all rights the undersigned may have, and any and all claims the undersigned may have or make, by reason of the transportation referred to in the claims above described, including expressly all rights and claims of the undersigned growing out of or in any way connected with that certain Certificate for Payment of Transportation Charges for Return of American Seamen to the United States, dated at Manila, P. I., January 12, 1938, executed by Henry B. Day, consul of the United States of America, and that certain Certificate described “Statement regarding maintenance and repatriation of certain members of the crew of the stranded S. S. President Hoover,” dated at Hong Kong, January 7, 1938, executed by Addison E. Southard, American Consul General.
The undersigned does further authorize said American Mail Line, Ltd. to collect said claims in the name of American Mail Line, Ltd. and to make, execute, and deliver any receipts or releases in connection therewith.
Dated at San Francisco, California, this 30th day of December 1940.
AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES, LTD.,
By A. B. POOLE, Vice President.
Secretary. 21. In a letter of March 19, 1941, the Comptroller General of the United States declined to pay the three items as set forth in Finding 19, supra. The second item of the claim, however, was subsequently paid (see Finding 22) but payment has never been made for items 1 and 3, which are the subject of the present action.
The grounds for refusing to pay items 1 and 3 of the claim were that consular form 24, copy of which is annexed to the
105 C. Cls. Reporter's Statement of the Case stipulation filed November 30, 1943, was not used; that the statement of the consular officer at Hong Kong, dated January 7, 1938 (Finding 14), did not satisfy the requirements of the statute; that there was no agreement on the part of the consular officer to pay these expenses, and that the consular officer at Manila was not requested to and did not issue the usual certificate.
22. On April 3, 1941, the State Department indicated approval of item 2 of the claim in a letter to the Comptroller General, copy of which was sent to plaintiff. This letter read as follows:
Reference is made to the claim submitted by the American Mail Line, Ltd., in the sum of $21,851.56, for services rendered in connection with the repatriation of the crew of the S. S. President Hoover, which was forwarded to the General Accounting Office under cover of the Department's letter of February 3, 1941, file DA-T 195.7 President Hoover, and to decision No. A-96861 issued by the Comptroller General on March 19, 1941, setting forth reasons for disallowance of the entire claim.
However, it appears that claim for the transportation of 15 seamen from Hoishoto Island to Manila on a vessel owned by the claimant is subject to review by the Secretary of State under provisions of the Revised Statutes, Section 4578 as amended by the act of May 7, 1930 (46 Stat. 261), and consequently, a certificate is now enclosed indicating approval, under authority of law cited above, of the sum of $193.80 claimed for this portion of the transportation furnished by the American Mail Line,
23. On January 5, 1943, and subsequent to the filing of the petition in this case on May 2, 1941, the Master of the President McKinley executed the following assignment to American Mail Line, Ltd.:
WHEREAS, Clyde F. Bryant, was in December 1937, the Master of the S. S. President McKinley, which vessel repatriated while he was Master certain members of the crew of the S. S. President Hoover, which was wrecked at Hoishoto Island, Formosa, on or about December 10–11, 1937; and
WHEREAS, certain claims dated November 15, 1940, described as follows:
Opinion of the Court For transportation of destitute American Seamen on S. S. President McKinley, as follows: (1) 145 seamen from Hong Kong, China, to San Francisco, Calif., at $138.86 each --
$20, 134. 70 (2) 15 seamen from Hoishoto Island, Formosa, to
Manila, P. I., 646 statute miles at 2 cents per mile. 193. 80 (3) 11 seamen from Manila, P. I., to San Francisco, Calif., at $138.46_-
1, 523. 06
21, 851. 56 have been heretofore filed with the State Department of the United States of America by American Mail Line, Ltd., but no formal assignment of same to American Mail Line, Ltd., from the undersigned has heretofore been filed with the Department of State; and whereas, the undersigned disclaims and has at all times disclaimed any and all financial interest in the said amounts, or any part thereof;
Now, therefore, the undersigned does hereby assign to American Mail Line, Ltd., all his right, title, and interest in and to the above-described claims, and each of them, together with the Certificate for Payment of Transportation Charges for Return of American Seamen to the United States, dated at Manila, P. I., January 12, 1938, executed by Henry B. Day, Consul of the United States of Americă, and the Certificate described "Statement regarding maintenance and repatriation of certain members of the crew of the stranded S. S. President Hoover,” dated at Hong Kong, January 7, 1938, executed by Addison E. Southard, American Consul General.
The undersigned does further authorize and empower the said American Mail Line, Ltd., to collect said claims in the name of American Mail Line, Ltd., and for its account, and to make, execute, and deliver any receipts or releases in connection therewith.
Dated at Seattle, Washington, this 5th day of January 1943.
The court decided that the plaintiff was entitled to recover. WHITAKER, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiff sues to recover the cost of transporting 145 seamen from Hong Kong, China to San Francisco, California, and for the cost of transporting 11 seamen from Manila, Philippine Islands to San Francisco, California. These sea105 C. Cls. Opinion of the Court men were a part of the crew of the President Hoover when it was shipwrecked December 10 or 11, 1937, at Kashoto (Hoishoto) Island, a small island approximately 18 miles off the east coast of Formosa. The President Hoover belonged to the Dollar Steamship Lines, Inc., Ltd., whose name was later changed to the American President Lines, Ltd. The steamship President McKinley, on which the seamen were transported to San Francisco, belonged to plaintiff, American Mail Line, Ltd., which was an affiliate of the Dollar Steamship Lines, Inc.
Plaintiff's right to recover is based upon sections 593, 678 and 679 of 46 U. S. C. which read as follows:
46 U. S. C. $ 593 provided as follows:
In cases where the service of any seaman terminates before the period contemplated in the agreement, by reason of the loss or wreck of the vessel, such seaman shall be entitled to wages for the time of service prior to such termination, but not for any further period. Such seaman shall be considered as a destitute seaman and shall be treated and transported to port of shipment as provided in sections 678, 679, and 681 of this title. This section shall apply to fishing and whaling vessels
but not to yachts. 46 U.S. C. 8 678:
It shall be the duty of the consuls and vice consuls, from time to time, to provide for the seamen of the United States, who may be found destitute within their districts, respectively, sufficient subsistence and passages to some port in the United States, in the most reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States, subject to such instructions as the Secretary of State shall give. The seamen shall, if able, be bound to do duty on board the vessels in which they may be transported, according
to their several abilities. 46 U. S. C. $ 679: All masters
are required to take such destitute seamen on board their vessels, at the request of consular officers, and to transport them to the port in the United States to which such vessel may be bound
and the amount agreed upon between the consular officer and the master of the vessel in each individual case not in excess of the lowest passenger rate of such vessel and not in excess of 2 cents per mile shall in each case constitute the lawful rate for trans
Opinion of the Court portation on steam vessels; and said consular officer shall issue certificates for such transportation, which certificates shall be assignable for collection.
Reasonable compensation, in addition to the allowances provided herein, or any allowance now fixed by law, or by regulations
may be paid from general appropriations for the relief and protection of American seamen, when authorized by the Secretary of State, in the following cases :
Second. When distressed or destitute seamen of the United States are transported from foreign ports where there is no consular officer of the United States, or from points on the high seas, to ports of the United States, or from such foreign ports or points on the high seas to a port accessible to a consular officer of the United States who is authorized to assume responsibility on behalf of the Government of the United States for the further relief and repatriation of such seaman, there shall be allowed to the master or owner of each vessel in which they are transported such reasonable compensation as
shall be deemed equitable by the Secretary of State. When the President Hoover was wrecked the steamship President McKinley, owned by plaintiff, was diverted from her course and directed to proceed to the wreck. She took on board and transported to Manila, Philippine Islands 15 members of the crew of the wrecked vessel. The following day the steamship President Pierce, owned by the Dollar Steamship Lines, which also had been diverted from her course and sent to the wreck, took on board 174 members of the crew and some passengers and transported them to Hong Kong.
There was no Consul on the Island of Kashoto, nor one closer than Taihoku on the Island of Formosa, about 200 miles from Kashoto. This place was not on the regular run of either the President Pierce or the President McKinley, and so the seamen were taken to Manila, Philippine Islands, and Hong Kong, China. These cities were about equally distant from Kashoto.
The President McKinley arrived at Manila on December 15 and left the next day, having aboard 11 of the 15 members of the crew of the President Hoover which she had brought from Kashoto. These were transported by way of Hong Kong, and Kobe and Yokohama, Japan to San Francisco. This was her regular route.