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consul gives us a few shillings now and then; the last he gave us 5 shillings on December 24 and to-day is January 12. . It is hard to keep clean on that amount. Our articles expired December 3, 1920."

As confirming the foregoing description of the destitute conditions in which the officers and crew found themselves, it may be added that two members of the crew were arrested and found guilty of stealing from the ship about 100 fathoms of manila rope to the value of about £100, and in reporting these circumstances the consul pointed out that “the peculiar circumstances in which these men were placed should be taken into consideration

The crew of the steamship Kanabec had received no wages and this extremely uncomfortable and awkward condition, while not justifying the action, made temptation very strong, so that what was done would probably never have been thought of under ordinary circumstances.”

The vessel was eventually bought in at auction in March, 1921, by the largest creditor, Smith Imossi & Co., who were forced to this purchase for their own protection and offered to resell the vessel for the price paid, plus one-fourth of £450, their original claim, and £550, which they had paid to the crew as advance of wages. Briefly therefore, while keeping the department fully informed, Mr. Sprague, on receiving a deputation from the crew which pointed out that there was some food on board the ship which could be used by the crew if coal and water were supplied to the ship, ordered coal and water on October 23, since the boarding of the men on shipboard on this basis, where they could live on the food aboard ship, was little different than the expenses would have been to board and lodge the crew on shore and would also accomplish the additional important function of protecting the vessel and thereby interests of the American owners, bondholders, and the crew's claims for wages; it may be readily seen that to keep the vessel in the custody of its American master and crew at this juncture, that is, when the consul caused coal and water to be furnished, was sound business judgment and the only practicable way to keep the vessel in condition to sail for the United States, in the probable event the receiver for the owning company was successful in the efforts he was making to raise funds for its release.

It is important to note that the Kanabec was not sold by the Admiralty Court at Gibraltar until the third auction held for the purpose, because at the first two auctions the reserve of £14,000 fixed by the court was not offered. This minimum valuation indicates the extensive interests which the American consul was seeking to protect, and it is also a matter of general knowledge that because ship's tonnage values underwent an unprecedented drop in 1921, only £1,070 ($4,815), was finally realized from the sale. Furthermore, although there is no real market for ships' tonnage except at large shipping centers, yet had it been possible for the receiver of the Kanabec to take advantage of the protection offered by the consul's action, as the consul reasonably anticipated, and had liquidation been effected at an American port, there is little doubt it would have yielded a sufficient sum to pay all the consul's claims as well as the large sums which had been earned and were justly due as wages to the members of the crew.

Before leaving the consideration of the expediency of the consul's action, it is desired to call attention to the fact that whenever a steamship is abandoned and its fires drawn, the machinery deteriorates very rapidly and in a short time the vessel becomes unable to proceed to sea without costly repairs. It was this deterioration which the consul strove to avoid.

The American consul at Gibraltar, Mr. Richard L. Sprague, either expended or has become legally responsible for the following items of relief extended to members of the destitute crew of the American steamship Kanabec and the Comptroller General of the United States considers these expenditures in the circumstances above set forth do not comply with the strict requirements of claims to be paid from the congressional appropriation for "Relief and protection of American seamen," as understood by his office:

Obligations and expenditures of Consul Sprague October 25, 1920. Furnished to steamship Kanabec by Smith Imossi

& Co., Gibraltar, upon guaranty of payment by American consul, Gibraltar, 50 tons of coal and 60 tons of water; for which said consul has either paid from personal funds or has become legally bound therefor (£423.15)-

$1, 897. 87 August 20, 1920, to February 23, 1921. Small advancement of Ameri

can consul at Gibraltar to destitute members of the crew of American steamship Kanabec for mending clothes and shoes, toilet necessities, postage, etc.

278. 95 Total.--

2, 176. 82 The Comptroller General allowed expenditures for relief extended by the consul in this case after November 20, 1920, when it became necessary to furnish subsistence to the members of the crew of the Kanabec in hotels and lodging houses on shore in Gibralter and similar expenditures under comparable circumstances have been allowed in other cases. It therefore appears that had the consul incurred expenses in maintaining these seamen on shore for the 19 days, that is, October 22 to November 9, 1920, both dates inclusive, during which the crew were maintained on the vessel by the above expenditure of £423.15 for coal and water, such expenses would have been allowed and paid from the regular appropriation for the “Relief and protection of American seamen.” It has been ascertained that the expense of maintaining the crew in hotels and boarding houses for the period in question would have been £373.16, only £49.19 less than the amount actually expended.

It is believed that all the items procured through the advancement of £278.95 made by the consul, as shown above, would have been approved and paid by the Comptroller General in the regular course of seamen's relief if, instead of giving the seamen cash, they had been purchased or furnished directly by the consul and the usual vouchers procured and submitted therefor. All these items were necessities for destitute men, but at the time they were furnished there seemed to be no uncertainty of the consul's ability to reimburse himself from the proceeds of the judicial sale of the vessel.

In judging the correctness of the consul's action in this case it is earnestly requested that his responsibility, legal, equitable, and humanitarian be carefully appraised. He is not only charged by Federal statute with the duty of furnishing subsistence and transportation to the United States to destitute American seamen found in his district, but he is also charged by law generally with the official duties necessary for the operation of American vessels abroad. Two of the principal duties of an American consul are, therefore, to safeguard property interests in American vessels and to protect the valid wage claims of American seamen, the latter duty having been the subject of special Federal legislation. These two important duties were well performed by the American consul at Gibraltar in this case, as well as furnishing the destitute crew with the subsistence for which Congress makes express provision and with practically no additional expense.

Unless the Congress appropriates funds to reimburse Mr. Sprague for his expenditures of $2,176.82, referred to above, which have been disallowed by the Comptroller General of the United States, Mr. Sprague will be obliged to suffer a personal loss of that sum, all of which he paid out in good faith for the relief of a destitute American crew, the protection of American property interests, and of American seamen, with no benefit to himself. Mr. Sprague has been a faithful and efficient consular officer of the United States for nearly 34 years and the loss of this sum will be to him a serious sacrifice.

American consular officers are urged and instructed to exercise their best efforts to protect and promote American shipping and it is believed consular officers should be protected and encouraged to do everything reasonable in furtherance of this trust. Had the American consul at Gibraltar permitted the Kanabec to be abandoned at once, and if its estimated value of over $100,000 had been lost to the American bondholders or even depreciated by his failure to keep the vessel in condition to depart upon receipt of expected funds from the receiver, who had been appointed in the United States district court, he would certainly have been subjected to severe and just criticism, and especially so when this result was obtainable by an added expenditure of only £49.19 (or $221.35 at the rate of exchange then existing).

It may be considered that a personal loss of $2,176.82 suffered by a consul under circumstances in which it is generally conceded he acted on sound business principles is sure to cause serious misgivings throughout the Consular Service and inspire a tendency in future toward technically safe and conservative action, under circumstances where only vigorous and resourceful steps can adequately protect American shipping and seamen in foreign countries.

The interests of the United States Government can only be effectively served abroad by supporting its official representatives in all reasonable efforts to protect the interests of its nationals, and the providing of funds for the reimbursement of the American consul at Gibraltar for the expenditures heretofore described will not only settle a just and equitable claim but it will exemplify the principle of supporting one of the foreign representatives of our Government in the active discharge of his duty to protect legitimate American interests in a case where, unfortunately, the Comptroller General of the United States finds that all the technical requirements for reimbursement from the regular appropriation for seamen's relief are not present.

Finally, the following conclusions, based upon a recapitulation of the foregoing premises, are respectfully submitted in support of an appropriation to pay Mr. Sprague the sum of $2,176.82:

(1) That all of the aforesaid $2,176.82 was actually assumed by the claimant for the relief of destitute American seamen from the American steamship Kanabec, for the purposes set forth in section 4577, Revised Statutes.

(2) That the said section 4577 of the Revised Statutes obligates consular officers “to provide for the seamen of the United States who may be found destitute within their districts, respectively, sufficient subsistence and passage to some port of the United States, in the most reasonable manner, subject to such instructions as the Secretary of State may give."

(3) That by furnishing coal and water to the American steamship Kanabec and thereby utilizing the ship's stores on hand, the claimant provided subsistence to the destituto crew of said steamship for a period of 19 days, at a cost of $1,897.87, only 1192 per cent more than would have been expended for their subsistence on shore for the same period, and as this action also effectively safeguarded the interests of crew and the American owners of the Kanabec, it is regarded by the Secretary of State as having been provided "in the most reasonable mannerunder the particular circumstances.

(4) That the Department of State, to which the administrative control of seamen's relief is delegated by statute, believes that the claimant was justified in obtaining coal and water from the firm of Smith Imossi & Co., of Gibraltar, since in his judgment he could obtain coal and water from that firm most advantageously. Although this firm had formerly represented the owners of the Kanabec as agents and had later libeled it for accounts due, it does not appear that Smith Imossi & Co. had any fiduciary relationship with the receiver appointed in the United States for the vessel and was not on the date this material was delivered in any way obligated to furnish coal or water, or to provide for the crew.

(5) That the fact the claimant advanced the sum of $278.95 to the destitute members of the crew of the Kanabec for the purchase of appropriate necessities to their subsistence, in the expectation that the proceeds of the sale of the vessel would enable him to reimburse himself, does not deprive him of the equitable right to reimbursement from the United States Government, it now appearing that he was unable to obtain reimbursement from the proceeds of the sale of the vessel.

(6) That the claimant had no private interest in the Kanabec or any claim against the vessel and therefore all liability he has incurred was on account of strictly official acts which he would not have undertaken except in fulfillment of his duties as American consul.

(7) That in extending this relief in "the most reasonable manner" it meets with the approval of the administrative office, the Department of State, as the claimant humanely considered the deplorable position of the seamen who made up the crew of the Kanabec; American seamen who were not destitute because of any malfeasance, but, on the contrary, had substantial sums due them for services performed on the vessel, claims they were unable to collect on account of the bankruptcy of the owners. It is believed that in extending relief cognizance may be taken of the facts that these seamen were thereby occasioned personal hardships and humiliation and in some instances the knowledge that their families in the United States were in serious want.


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JANUARY 5, 1928.–Read; referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and

ordered to be printed

1o the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State concerning participation by the Government of the United States in the Eighth Înternational Dairy Congress, which will be held in Great Britain in June-July, 1928, under the patronage of His Majesty King George V.

Concurring in the view of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Agriculture, as stated in the report, I request of Congress legislation authorizing acceptance of the invitation of the British Government to the Government of the United States to appoint delegates to that Congress, and an appropriation of $10,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the payment of the expenses of delegates.



The Government of Great Britain has invited the Government of the United States to take part in the Eighth International Dairy Congress, which will be held in Great Britain in June-July, 1928, under the patronage of His Majesty King George V.

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