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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902
(1902)

Belgium,   pp. 73-100 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 77

 BELGIUM. 77 
ernor of the Philippine Islands, on December 21, 1899, issued General Order
No. 69, prescribing certain regulations for commercial intercourse between
the several islands of the archipelago. A copy of this order is herewith
transmitted. 
 Among other provisions the ordei- contained the following: 
 ARTICLE 9. Vessels licensed for the coasting trade will not be allowed to
call at unequipped ports along the coast of the archipelago without special
permission of the military governor or department or district military commander,
who, in authorizing such trade, will prescrmbe the conditions under which
it is permitted. Vessels found violating this sectmon shall be subject to
a fine of not less than 100 pesos, or more than the value of the cargo provided
the value thereof exceeds 100 pesos. 
 It appears from a report of the United States military authorities, which
has just been received through the Secretary of Wai-, that the Compagnie
G~n~rale des Philippines, etc., a Belgian corporation with headquarters at
Brussels, voluntarily availed itself of the mitigation of the strict rule
of war made by the United States, and of its own motion engaged one of its
vessels, the Belgika, in the trade subject to the provisions of General Order
No. 69. It came to the attention of the government of the Philippine Islands
that the Beiqika bad violated the requirements of article 9, above quoted.
The charge was then investigated by the proper authorities and found to be
true, whereupon a fine of ~30,000, Mexican, was imposed and collected for
said violation. 
 The company now seeks repayment of the amount of that fine. In support of
its application the company contends as follows: 
 1. A fine imposed for violation of the provisions of article 9, of General
Order No. 69, series 1899, must be recovered through seizure of the cargo
and not of the ship. 
 Article 9 does not sustain this contention. That article plainly provides
that— Vessels licensed for the coasting trade will not be allowed to
call at unequipped ports * * * without special permission. * * * Vessels
found violating this section shall be subject to a fine * * * of not less
than 100 pesos, or more than the value of the cargo. 
 The subdivision of General Order No. 69~ in which article 9 appears, relates
to licensing vessels to engage in the coastwise carrying trade and deals
with the shipping, not the merchandise shipped. The offense is committed
by the vessel if it shall "call at unequipped ports * * * without special
permission," and the vessel itself may be properly libeled for the penalty
of such a violation. The cargo is referred to for the purpose of fixing the
ininimuni amount of the fine. 
 2. The company further contends that at the time said violation took place,
the vessel was under charter to a business concern located at Manila, and
that the government of the Philippines should look to the charter party and
not to the owner of the vessel. This proposition can not be assented to.
The owner came to the government of the Philippines and secured a license
for the vessel to engage in the coastwise carrying trade. The license relates
to the vessel and the conditions bind the licensee. It is incumbent upon
the licensee to carry out the said conditions, and he can not evade responsibility
for violations by establishing that such violation was the act of his agent,
employee, or contractor without his knowledge or consent. He is bound to
obey the terms and conditions of the license. The license permits the ship
to be used for certain purposes subject to certain regulations under penalties
for violations. If the licensee neglects to adopt adequate measures to prevent
the ship from violating the requirements of the 


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